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WiLUAM B. Cairns Collection 


American Women Writers 




WiLUAM B. Cairns 

Professor of English 

University of Wisconsin-Madison 

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W«li W»J1. 










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Aepoiding to Act of Coiwress, in the year Ittli by 


la tho CItrk** O^oe of the District Court of the Sputfaem Dittiict of 



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This volome embraces the contents of the first editions 
of lay •Awftd Disclosures,*' together with the Sequel of 
my Narrative, giving an account of events after my escape 
from the Nunnery, and of my return to Mcmtreal to pro- 
cure a legal investigation of my charges. It also fUrnishes 
an the testimony that has been published against me, of 
eveiy description, as well as that which has been given ill 
eonfirmatioD of my story. At the close, will be found a 
tleview of the whole Subject, furnished by a gentleman 
well qualified for the purpose ; and^ finally, a short Supple- 
ment, givii^, further particulars interesting to the pnb^ 
lie. , 

I present this volume tsi the reader, with feelings which, 
I trust, will be in some degree a;)preciated when it has been 
read and reflected upon. A hasty perusal^ and an imper- 
fect apprehension of its contents, can never produce such 
impressions as it has been my design to make by the state- 
ments I have laid before the world. I know that misap- 
prehensions exist in the minds of some virtuous people. J 
am not disposed to condemn their jgiotives, for it does not 
seem wonderful, that in a pure state of society, and in the 
ipidst of Christian families, there should be persons ^O 
regard the crimes I h^ve mentioned as too monstrous to be 
believed. It certainly is creditable to American manners 

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4 PRfiFAOM. 

and character, that the people are inclintd, at the fint 
sight, to turn from my story with horror. 

There is also an excuse for those, who, having receiyed 
<mly a general impression concerning the natitre of my 
I>i8clo6ares, question the propriety of publishing such im- 
morality to the world. Th^ fear that the minds of the 
young at least may be polluted. To such I hare to say, 
that this objection was examined, and set aside, long before 
they had an opportunity to make it. I solemnly believe it 
is necessary to inform parents at least, that the ruin from 
which I hare barely escaped, lies in the way of their child- 
ren, even if delicacy must be in some degree wounded by 
revealing the fact J understand the case, alas ! from too 
bitter experience. Many an innocent girl may ^is jrear 
be exposed to the dangers of which I was ignorant. I am 
resolved, that so far as depends on me, not one more victim 
shall fall into the hands of those enemies in whose power I 
80 lately have been. I know what it is to be under the do- 
minion of Nuns and Priests ; and I maintain, that it is a 
far greater offence against virtue and decency to conceal, 
than to proclaim their crimes. Ah ! had a single warning 
voice even whispered to me a word of caution, had even a 
gentle note of alarm been sounded to me, it might have 
turned back my foot from the Convent when it was upon 
the threshold ! If, therefore, there is any one now bending 
a step that way, whom I have not yet alarmed, I will cry 

But the virtuous reader need not fear, in the following 
pages, to meet with vice presented in any dress but her own 
deformity. No one can accuse me of giving a single at- 
traction to crime. On the contrary, I intend my book 
shall be a warning to those who may hereafter be tempted 
by vice ; and with the ccmfidence that such it will prove to 
be, I commend it to the carefVd examination of virtuous 
parents, and am willing to abide by their unbiased opin- 
ion, with regard both to my truth, my motives, and the in- 

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tetMt whidi tlwfiiblie ]ia«« im the ^Byr^^apatuOM-k ^eot^ 


i wettM ncm 'Spfetl to &e worid, and ask^ wlMtlier 1 
lNit« not done all that eosld hare been esrpeeted of «#, 
iUui all that iay ui my pawet, to Ining to an inv^edtigBCioii 
tke eha«gesrl hiMre bjronght against the priests and nuas ef 
Canada. Atthott^^h it was necessaQr to the cause of truth, 
that I should, in some degree, hnplieate myself, I have Bet 
])?sitated to appear as a voluntary self-accuser before the 
-wet id. Wliile there was a hope that the authorities in 
Canada might be prevailed apon to bring the snlject to a 
legal investigation, I travelled to Montreal, in a feeble state 
of health, and with an infant in my arms only three weeks 
old. In the &ce of many threats and dangers, X spent 
nearly a month in that city, in vain attempts to bring my 
cause to a trial. When all prospect of success im this un- 
dertaking had disappeared, and not till then, I determined 
to make my accusations through the press ; and, although 
misrepresentations and scandals, flattery and fear, have 
been resorted to, to nullify or to suppress my testimony, I 
have persevered, alihotigh, as many of my friends have 
thought, at the risk of abduction or death. 
I I have, I think, afforded every opportunity that could 1 e 
jeasonably expected, to judge of my credibility. I ha/e 
appealed to the existence of things in the Hotel Dieu Nuo- 
neiry, as the great criterion of the truth of my story. I ha ve 
described the apartments, and now, in this volume, have 
added many fUrther particulars, with such a draft of tuem 
as my memory has enabled me to make. I have offered, in 
case I should be proved an impostor, to submit to any pun- 
ishment which may be proposed— «ven to a redelivery into 
the hands of my bitterest enemies, to suffer what they may 
please to inflict. 

Now, in these circumstances, I would ask the people of 
the United States, whether my duty has not been discharg- 
ed 1 Have I not done what I ought, to inform and to alarm 
themi I woitld also solemnly appeal to the Government 

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«f ^n«t BrkaiB, oader whose giiardiuu|y|> is the proT- 
ince oppressed by the gloomy institution from which I hart 
escaped, and ask, whether such atrocities ought to he toler- 
ated, and even protected, enlightened and Christiaa 
power 1 Itmst the hour is near, when the dens of the Ho- 
tel Dieu wHl be laid open, when the tyrants who havts pat- 
luted it will be brought out, with the wretched victims d 
their (^ression and crimes. 

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CHAPTER I. EABLTBaoouAonoKlK..^...^.. m. ........ 11 

F^arlf life— Relidoas fklacation neglected— First 0cboal»— En* 
trance into the School of the Ck>ngre«itional Nunnery— Brief Ac- 
eottut of the Nimneries in Montreta^lhe eongrefttioBal Nnn« 
nerj'— The Mack Nnnoery— The Grer NGomery—PubltelUipect 
for these bMtitQtioBS-4nBtrQetio» KeeeWtck-The Cate«lilstti— 
The Bible. 


Story told by a fellow Pupil against a Priest— Ocker Stories- 
Pretty Mary— Confess to Father Richards— My sobseqaent Coiy 
lessions— Left the Congrefstio&al Ncnmery. 

ORAFl^at m. Blacsk NuKMBBT ..••. • 99 

Preparations to beooae a Noviee in file Blade ITiuuiery— &i- 
trmee— OecnpatiiAiB of ^e Noviees— "nie Apartments to which 
iSiey iMtd Access— nrst interview with Jane Ray— Reverence Ibr 
the Superior— Her Relicraea— The Holy €tood Shepherd or name* 
less Nun— Confesidon of Novices. 

CHAPTER IV... „.* M 

Diqdeased with the Convent^Left it— Residence at St Denis— 
Reliqne*— Marriage— Return to the Black Nunnery— Objections 
made tif iome Novfees— Ideas of the Bible. 

CBAPTERV •...,.;.. 4» 

Received Confirmation— Ptfnftil Feelings— Specimen of iMtrac* 
tions received on- the Sut^eet 

" ■* 


Taking the Veil— Interview afterward with the- Boperior— flar- 
prise and horror at her Disdosurea— Resotntion to submit 


DaUy Ceremonies— Jane Ray among the Nans. 

CHAPTER "Vin ,,, .« « 

Description of Apartments fa the Black Nunnery, in order— Ist 
Fteor— 2d Floor— The Founder— Superior'a Management wtth the 
Friends of Novices-Religioas lies-Criminali^ of concealing 
JUas at Confbsiion. ... 

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Nuns with similar names— Squaw Nuns— First visit to the Cd> 
lar— Description of it— Shocking Discovery there— Superior's In- 
structions— Private Sgnal of the Priests— Books used in the Nim- 
nery— Opinions expressed of thp Bible— Specimens of what I know 
of the Scriptures. 


Manufacture of Bread, and Wax Candles, carried on in the Con- 
vent— Superstitions— Scapularies— Virgin Mary's pincueftUon— Hw 
House— The Bishop's power over fire— My instructions to Novices 
—Jane Ray— VaciUation pf fealinfs. 


Alarming Order A-om the Soperiinr— Proceed to execute it- 
Scene in an upper floom^Sentence of Death, and Murder— My 
own distress— Bqmrts made to tciends of St. Francis. 


Description of the Room of the Three States, and the Pictures 
In it- Jane Ray ridiculing Priests— Their criminal Treatment of 
us at Confession— Jane Ray's Tricks with the Nun's Aprons, 
Handkerchiefs, and Nightgowns— Ai^es. 

CHAPTER Xm , \4 ...,•».,. US 

Jane Ray'a TMcka eontinued-^The BroomsUck CUiost— Sleep- 
.walking-^-Salted Cider— Chaaging Beds— Oi^>e6tsaf«ome oCher 
Trieks— Feigned Humility— Aiaimr-Treatment of a new Nia«-A 
Nim made by strati^pem. 


Influeu^iug Novices— Difficulty of convincingPersons firom the 
Hilited^States— Tsle of the Bishop in the Ctty-<-The Bishop in the 
Cenveat^The Prisoners in the CeHs— Pracltce ia Singiiig-^Nar- 
ratives— Jane Ray's Hymns— The St^perior's bast Trick. 

CHAPTER XVI,.. ...^... • «. »S 

FIrequeoev of -the Priests' Visits to the Nomwry— Their Free- 
dom and Crimes— Difficulty of learning their Names— Their Ho^ 
Retreat— Objections in.iour mmds— Means used to counteract 
ConscieAoe— Ingenious Arguments. 


Treatment of young Infants in the Convent— T^dking in SleejH- 
Amusements — Ceremonies at the public interment of dorca<trt 
Kuns— Sudden disappearance of the Old Superior— IntroductlMi 
of the new one— SuperstitioDf-rAIarmof a Nun—IMffleul^ of CoBi* 
munication with other Nuns. 

CHAPTER XVni \ 164 . 

Dfsappeaifanoeof Ntms-«-8t. Pierre— Oags-'My temporary Con- 
finement in a CeU^The Cholera Season— )iow to avoid it—Occu- 
patiens in the OMvent durioff the PeeUlwi s» " M Mmfcelte ef 

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Wax CaiiAe»-TlM BleetkHi Riota— Alanft uaaag tii» l^nuH-Pr*- 
paratioos for Defmce— Penances. 

GHAPTEE XIX........ ►.... 180 

Tbe Priests of tbe District of Ifontrsal bare free access to tke 
Kack Nunnery— Crimes committed and required by them— Tl^e 
Pcme'a Ciommand to commit indecent Cri|teft«Oiaracters of like 
Old and New Superiors— llie timidity of tm latter— I becan to be 
employed in the Bospitals— Some account of them— Warning ftren 
meby a sick Nun— Penance by &nging. 

CHAPTER XX.....'..... m 

More visits to the imprisoned Nuns— Their fears— Others tern* 
porarily put into tbe Cells— EeUques— The Agnus Def— The 
Priest^ wivate Hospital, or Holy Retreat— Becret Rooms in the 
Eastern wing— Reports of Murders hi the Coownt— The Superi- 
or's private Records— Number of Nuns in the Convent— uertre ef 
Escape— Uigent reason for itr-Plan— Deliberation— •AM«Bap(-*0ao^ 



nnvmofitf haadbllL 207— Montreal Affidavits, 2ia-letter of T. B. 
JfaMihoa, 2afr~Eztracts from American Pu>ers, SSlr-Reply to 

the Montreal Affidavits, 233-New York Certffieates and^AffldiMit^ 

SB)6— GhaUenge to the Roman prieiMs, 246. 


CHAPTER I ..••••,..... 8B7 

At liberty—DotibtiuI what to do— Found reA^ for the night— 
IHsappointmen^^My first day eat ^ the Csnw i i to l itade— Re- 
eoUeeoons, fears, and plans. ^ 

GHAPTBR n... aes 

Start for Ctuebec^Recosnised— DIsappohited agahn-Not per* 
mStted to land— Return to Montreal— Landed and passed thnAigh 
the city before day— Lachine Canal— Intended eloped my Ufo. 

OHAPTERin • .w............^ 98r 

Awake among strangers— Dr. Robertson— Imprisoned asava- 
gran^IntrDductSon to my mother— Stay in her hou8»— Removal 
from it to Mrs. McDonald's— Retnni tomy moflier»»-Deslre to get 
to New Tork— Arrangements for going. 

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10 O^NtSNTt. 

CHAFCBRXV^.^««,..., ,.., 2rS 

(Kngular concurrence of cfrcumstanceai tvfaich enabled me to 
get to the United 9taite&— Intentions in foiof there— Conunence 
mjr jonriiey-'Fears of my oompanifm-^^op at Whitebafi— Injury 
received in a Canal bo«^ Arrival aCMew York— ▲ aoUtary retreat 

CBAPTEft V • 2e 

Reflections and sorrows in solittide— Night—- Fears^Ezposaro 
to rain— Discovered by strangers— llieir unwelcome kUnlness— 
Taken to the Bellevue Almshouse. 

CHAPTER Vt ., 2Sy 

Reception at the Ahnsfaouse— Message fh)m Bfr. Conroy, a Ro- 
man prrest in New York— His invitations to a private interview— 
His claims, propositions, and threats— Mr, Kelt's message— Ef> 
fects of readSng the Bible. 

CHAPTER Vn i ..«• 267 

1 to go to Montreal and testify against the priests— 
lent of my journey— Stop at Troy, Whitehall, Bur- 
iban'a, Plattsburgn, and St. John's— Arrival at Men- 

Proposition t 
Commencement \ , _ 

lington, St. Alban'a, Plattsburgn, fcuu ou .fwuu v 
troal— Reflections on passing the Nunnery, 4tc. 


Received into a hospitable fiunily— Fluctuating feelings— Visits 
from several persons-^Fbdier Phaun's deelarations against me in 
his church— Interviews with a Journeyman Carpentex^Argu- 
ments with him. 

CHAPTER X '. 313 

Milkman— An Ushwoman— Difficulty in hmtog my Affidaslt ta- 
ken— Legal 4>l;(ia6tioB to it when taken. 


Interview wi^ the Attorney eeneral'of the Province— Attempt 
to abdoct me — ^More interviews — ^A mob excited against me — ^Pro- 
tected by two soldiers^Gonvinced that an Investigation of my 
chaiges could not be obtained— Departure from Montreal— Glosin|^ 

Tia Truth o? tbb " Awfdl DisoLOsimHS by Mabia Monk" db- 

JfONSTRATBD ..,. 3^, 

Different classes of Directors— Question of prol)abilify— Wit- 
kiesBcs in ftvomr^Corrpborations— Cfrcumstantnl evidence— Pa* 
|D8t books warrant these Crimea— Bztracta— list of pzjesta seen in 


DssCbuvion op thb VxnnaacgiJSfc. m thb Fbohtispibob>* •••••••• 364 

Errors corrected— Additional partioulara about the interior of 
the Nunnery— The Nunnery Grounds. 

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IRkkhY KBC01.LB07X01I8. 

JEarlp I^fe—Htligioue EducaHon tugUcted—Mr^t ShhooU— 
Entrance into the School of the Congregational Nunnery 
Brief Accottni of the Nunneries in Montreal— 7%e Congre- 
gational Nwnnay—7%e Biaek Nunnery^Tlu Grty Nun- 

. nffrtf^Publia Respect for these InstitaUons^InstructUm R^ 
ceived—The Catechism — T%e Bible, 

My pafents were both £rom Scotland, but had been 
resident in Lower Canada som^ time before their 
nutrriage, which 4ook place m Montreal ; and in that 
city I have spent mo^ of my life. I was bom at St. 
John's, where they lived for a short time. My £ither 
VOLS an officer under the British goretnment, and my 
mother has enjc^ed a pension on that account ever 
since his death.* 

According to my earliest recollections, he was 
attentive to his &mily ; and a particular passage from 
Ae Bible, which often occurred to my mind in after 
life, I may very probably have been taught by him, as 

♦ See the affidavit of William MiUer, in the Appewfa. 

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after his death I do not recollect to have received any 
religious instruction at home; and was not even 
brought .up to read the scriptures: my mother, aU 
ihough nominally a Protestant, not being accustom- 
ed to pay atteix^n to her children in this respect. 
She was rather inclined to think well of the Catho- 
lics, and oil^i attended their churches. To my want 
of religious instruction at home, and the ignorance 
of my Creator, and my duty, which was its natural 
effect, I think I can trace my introduction to Con- 
vents, and the scenes whi«h I am to describe in this 

When about six or seven years of age, I went to 
school to a Mr. Workman, a Protesttmt, who taught 
in Sacrament-stre^ and remained several months. 
There I learned to read and write, and arithmetic as 
fiir as division. All the progress I ever made in 
•Chose brandies was gained in that school, as I have 
never improved in any of them since. 

A number of girls of my acquaintance went to 
school to the nuns -of the Congregational Nunnery, 
or Sifters of Charity, as they are sometimes called. 
The schools taught by them are perhaps more nu- 
merous than some of my readers may imagine. 
Nuns are sent out from that Convent to many of the 
towns and villages of Canada to teach small schools ; 
and some of them are ei^tablishecl as instructresses 
in differeiiLt parts of the United States. When I was 
about ten years old, my mother asked me one day 
if I should not like to learn to read and writo 
French ; and I then began tq think seriously of at- 

d by Google 

, I kadalreadjF anae ae^uaaAtaj^ce wkbthai kogtia^, 
i^fficket rio q;)ea]i it a little, fs I beard it eyery day, 
ai|^ mf nK>th^ kaew aomc^tbiog of it 

I kav6 a (K^roctreeellecti^i cfjfaj first entraiiee 
i^ti}#j[!^u]ailery; i»^tbe4ay wasan impoita&tone 
ip my life, as- on it jUimm^mceA ray acquaii^ance 
w^ a^ C9Qv«[)ty I was coaduicled by some <^ my 
ycmjBg friesda alon|f Ndt^e I)ama-8tre^t till we 
reached the ^te. £]^^g J^al, we walked some 
distance along tbj^^ side of a bmldiog towiards the 
chapel, until we reacbied a door^ sta}^ed« and i^unga 
b^l). This was, noon op^aed, and entering, we pro- 
*eeeded throtigh a k»ig covered passage till we took 
a short turn io the left, soon after which we reached 
the door of the school-room. On my entrance, the 
Sttfierior m€t me, tamd t^Hme first of all, that I inust 
always (fip my fi»gers into the' holy Water at her 
door, cross m^/velj^ and say a shtart prayer; and this 
As told me waa always required of Protestant as 
well as Catholic children. - 

There were about fifty girls in the scho<4, and 
the nuns professed to teach something of readings 
writing, arithmetw, iand geography. The nwthods 
however were very imperfect, and little attention W3S 
devoted. to them, the time being in a great degree 
engrossed with lessons in needle-work, which was 
performed with much skill. The nuns had no very 
regular parts assigned them in the management of 
the schoolsv They were rather rough and unpol- 
ished in their rnanners, often exclaiming, "c'cst ua 

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f 4 ^WLt mnrt^tn^drWHU, 

Bl6iiti,^ (xBiMhi ft He,) and ''inon Dieu,'' <my O^) 
on the most trivial oecasioBs: Tfaeir writing w^ 
quite poor, and it was not unconimon for them to pM 
a capital letter in tke middle of a word. Tke only 
book on geograpiy which we studied, Was a cate- 
chism of geography, from which tre leatilt fey imai 
a few questions and answers.- W^ were som^mes 
rderred to a map, %ut it ivas only to point out Mon- 
treal or Quebec, or some other prominent name, 
while "we had no instruction b^ond. 

It may be necessary for the information of "some 
<^my readers, to mention that there ^re three dis- 
tinct Convents in Montiieal, all of different kinds; 
that is, founded on difKsrent plttns; and: governed hy 
dfflerent rules. Their names are as follows: — 

1st. The Congregational Nunnery. 

2d. The Black Nunnery, tJt Convent of Sl^er 
'> 3d. The Grey Nunnery. 

The first of these profei^fses id be devoted entirely 
to the education of girls. It would require however ^ 
only a proper examination to prove that, with the ex- 
ception of needle-work, hardly any thing is taught 
excepting prayers and the catechism ; the instruction 
in reading, writing, &c., in feet, amounting to very 
little, and often to nothing. This Convent is adja- 
cent to that next to be j9pok<Hi of, being separated 
firom it only by a wall. The second professes to 
be a charitable institution ^or the care of the sick, 
and the supply of bread and medicines for the poor ; 
and something is done in these departments of char- 

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nifitk Ae size of the iNuldingfirr and Uie ni^b^r Qf 
tlie mmates. . , 

T]^ ^x^t .^tii9i»a^, whk)i i» 3itttiU«d ja a 4iar 
tdnl pari: of the cky« is alae a laift edifice, (HUitaiii- 
in^depa^BieDtB fef the cafe of iaaaae perwrns and 
foWHyipf^. Wkhr ttii^i however, I have las^ persons^ 
acquaualance thm with either of 4he c^ers. I ha?e 
often seea two of the Qrey nuns, and know that 
thm rules, as w^ as thdse pf the CongragaticMial 
NunnerjTf ^0 not eonfioe them ahvays wiUiin their 
wiJK likp' tho^ of the BJaek Nunnery. Thes^i 
two Convents have their commo^i names (Blaek and 
Grey) £rom the colours of the dresses "worn by thw 

In all these fhisee Cony ecits, tfaeve axe certain apart* 
. ments into whiok strangers can gain admittance, batf 
others from which th^ are always excluded, tn 
all, large quantities of vafious ornaments are mada 
by the nuns, which axe exposed fyt sale in the Or- 
naffient Rooms, and afford large pecuniary receipta 
every year, which contribute much to their inpomcf . 
In. these rooms visdters often purchase sncjh things 
as please them iiom some of the old* and confidential 
mms^who have the charge of them. 

From all that app^ass to. the public €^e, the imi^ 
of -these Ccmvents are devo^ to the charitable oh- - 
jeets appropriate ta each, th@ labour ^midEing difier- 
eiA axtielas, known ta be majim&etured by them, and 

♦ The imn ** old imb*?* does not «lwoy« indioatf «j|?«rior 9g«. 

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16- BiUiLT Rtc^Liverrait*. 

the reHgidus ohaevmBeet, whieh occupy a large por< 
tion of their tkne. They are r^;arded with rnneh 
respect bythe people at large; and now and thett 
when a noyiee takes the T«iU she is sppposed to Re- 
tire firom die tein{ft!itk)n8 tod tronhks of this world 
into a state of holy seclusioB, where, by prayer, self, 
mortification, and good deeds, she prepares herself 
£>r heaven. Sometimes the Superior of a Conyent 
obtains the character of working miracles ; and 
when such a one dies, it is published thrmigh the 
country, and crowds throng the Convent, who think 
indulgences are to be derived £rom bits of her clothes 
er other things she has possessed ; and many have 
sent articles to be touched to her bed or clmir, in 
which a degree of virtue is thought to remain. 
I used to participate in such ideas and fe^ings, and 
began by degrees to look tzpon a nun as the happiest 
<}( women, and a Convent as the most peaceAil, holy, 
and delightful place of abode. It is true, some pains 
were taken to impress such views upon me. Some 
of the priests of the Seminary often visited the Con- 
gregational Nunnery, and both catechised and 
talked with us on religion. The Superior of the 
Black Nunnery adjoining, also, occasionally come 
into the School, ^ilarged on the advantages we 
aijoyed in having such teachers, and dropped some- 
thing now and then relating to her own Convent, 
calculated to maketis entertain the highest ideas of 
ft, and to make us sometnaacs think of the possibility 
of getting into it. 

Among the instrrK^ns given us hy the priests. 

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the.Protestant Bible. They often enlarged uppaMlte 
^il teotoioy oCtlmt b(rak, and told us that "but fm it 
i]aany a soul nonr cdndemaed to hell. and. anfleiJBig. 
eternal punishment, might have been in happi|$e0«» 
Tk^tmxytiaot say any Ajng in its &your : for that 
would be speaking against religion and ags^na^ 
Qcd., They wajcned us agaiidst it, and r^Qresepted 
it 1^ a ^lipg jvety dangereus to our souls. l» 
eonfiimatic^. of thi^ the^^ would repeat so9i6^ of 
Che answers ^ught us at.of^echism, a few of whjcb 
I will here give. We had little catechiHus (♦'Le 
Ftftk Cateebiaoi") j^ hOO aw hands to sti»dy^ 
but the prieg& ^o^mJ^ego];!, to leach us a new se^ <j( 
answers, which were not to be found in our books, 
from some of which I received new ideas, and got, 
as I thought, important light on religious suh^eels, 
which confirmed me more and more in my belief in 
the Roman Catholic doctrines. These questions and 
answers I can still recall with tolerable accuracy* 
and some of them I will add here. I never have 
read them, as we were taught them only by word 
of mouth. 

Question. " Pourquoi le bon Dieu n'a pas fiiit 
tous les commandemens ? 

Reponse. "Parce que Thomme n*est pas si fort 
qu'il pent garder tous ses conunandemens. 

Q. ** Why did not God make all the command- 

A "Because man is not strong enough to keep 


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18 BAstT utamhzmcTiMm.' 

And another. Q. *• iHMU<(|iioi FlMMau&e ne ikjam 

JR. «* Parce qn« I'esprit de i'homme ett trop boni# 
ot trop &lble pour comprendre qja^em, ce que Ueu a 

Q, ** Why are mm ix)t to read the Nerw l^eeCa- 

A ** Because the mind of man is too limited and 
weak to understand what Qoi has written." « 

These questions and answers are not to be found 
in tile conmion catechisms m use in Mcmtredl and 
other places where I have been, but all the children 
in the OdhgregatioiMil Nunnery were taught them, 
and many more not found in these hookB, 

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jSStory told by a fellow Pupil against a Pritat—OOttr &oria^ 
Prtlttfi Ma/ry—Cofnfees to JPhtih^ RUJiard^r-M^ nib»e9U«nt 
Covfe88ion9--Lefi the Congregational Ntmnery, 

Thsrs ipas a girl tbiiteen years old whom 1 
knew in the School, who resided" in the neighboor* 
kwxi of my mother, and with whom I had been 
ftmiliar. She told me one (ky at school of the 
conduct of a priest with her at confession, at which 
I was astonii^d. It was of so criminal and sham^ 
M a nature, I could hardly believe it, and yet I had 
so much confidence that she spoke the truth, that I 
could not discredit it; 

She was partly persuaded by the priest to believe 
he could not ^n, because he was a priest, and that 
liny thing he did to her would sanctify her; and y^ 
she seemed somewhat doubtful how she should act 
A priest, she iiad been told by him, is a holy man, 
and appointed to a holy office, and therefore what 
would be wicked in other men, could not be so in 
him. She told me that she had informed her 
mother of^it, who expressed no anger nor disappro- 
bation, but only enjoined it upon her not to speak of 
it; and remarked to her, that as priests were not like 
other men, but holy, and sent to instruct and save 
us, whalirer they did was right. 

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I afterward confessed to the priest that I had 
heard the story, and had a penance to perforn^ for 
indulging a sinful curiosity in making inquiries; 
and the girl had another for communicating it. 1 
afterward learned that other children had been 
treated in the same manner, and also of similar pro* 
ceedings in other places. ^ 

Indeed^ it was not long before such language was 
used to me, and I well remember how my vie||s of 
ifigbt and wrong were shaken by k, .^^other girl 
at the School, from a plac« above Mon^^a), oall^ 
the Lac, told me tbe^ following story of what j^ 
occurred recently in that vicinity. A young ^ua^ 
called la Belle Marie» (pretty Mary,) had been iseen 
going to .confession at the house of the priest^ who 
lived a little o^t of the village. La Belle Mario 
was afterward missed, and her murdered body was 
found in the river. A knife was also found cov- 
ered with blood, bearing t|ie priest's name. Great 
indignation was excited among the Indians, and 
the priest immediately absconded, and was nevei 
heard from again. A note was found on bis table 
addressed to him, telling him to flyjf he was guilty^ 

It was supposed th£^ thc^ priest was fearjful that 
his conduct might be betrayed by this yotmg female; 
and h^ undertook to clear himself by killing her. 

These stories struck me with surprise at firs^bujt 
I giradually began to feel differently, even supposing 
them true, and to look upon the priests as men in- 
expiable pf sin ; besides," wjien I first went to con- 
fession, which I did to Father Richards, in the old 

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Freaekt^urcfe, (since t»km down,) I iiea^d nod^ag 
isftproper ; and it was^not until I had been several 
times, that the priests- became nioore and mors bol4 
aad were i^ length indecent in their questions and 
even in Iheir conduct when I ctMifessed to them in 
the Sacristie. Thi^ subject I believe is not under- 
stood nor stsspected among Protestants; and it is 
not my inteqtion to speak of it very particularly, 
because it is impossible to do so vdthout saying 
4hings ha&i shameful and demoralizing. 

I will only say here, that when quke a child, 
I had from the mouths of the priests at coafessipn 
what I cannot repeat, with treatment corresponding ; 
and several females in Canada have recently assured 
me, that they have repeatedly, and indeed regularly, 
been required to answer the same and other like 
questions, many of whieh preswrt to the mind deeds 
which the most iniquitous and corrupt heart could 
hardly invent 

There viras a fireiyi^Qt changs of teachers in the 
Sohool of the Nunnery ; and no regular system was 
pursued in our mstruetion. Ti^re were many 
nuns who came and wait while I was there, being 
frequently called in and out without any perceptible 
reason. They suj^ly school teachers to mdjQy of 
the countiy towns, usually tw^for each of thelowns 
virith which I was »M][uainte<i, besides siding Sisters 
iji Clmrity to different parts of the United States. 
Among those whom I saw most, was Saint Patrick, 
an old woman for a nun, (that is, about forty,) 
very ignorant, and gross in her manners, with quite 

d by Google 

2t -GOIMBMUITI^VAV mncicsftT* 

a btford on her face, ftniveiy crosn and ^liaagre^ 
Ms! She was sometimes our teacher in 8fewiog» 
andwaa q^pointed to keep order amoof ua. rWe 
were ailow^ to enter only a few of the roonmn die 
Oongregatioiial Nimner j^ although it waa not. eofir 
^widered one of the secluded Conjents. 

In the Blaek Nunnery, which ie very near the 
Congregational, is an hiMspital for sick jpeople from 
the city; and sometimes some of eur boarders, slich 
" as were indisposed, were sent there to he cured. I» 
was once taken ill myself and sent there, idiere I 
r^o^akHSgl a few days. 

There were beds enough for a considerable num^ 
ber mere. *A physician attended it daily; and 
there are a number of the veiled niins of that Oott« 
vent who spend most of their time there. 

These would al8i» -sometimes read lectures and 
repeat prayers to us. 

After I had been in the Congregational Nun* 
nery about two years, I left it,* and attended several 
different schocds for a short time; but I soon be- 
came dl^satkfied, having many and sevese trials to 
endure at home, which my feelings will not allow 
me to describe^ and as my Catholic acquaintances 
had often spoken to me in favour of their &ith, I was. 
inclined to believe it H^e, although, as I before said. 
I knew little of any ?9l%ion« While out of the nun- 
nery, I saw nothing of religion. If I had, I believe 
I shmild never have thotng^t of becoming a nun. 

* See the 3d affida^. 

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i^reparaiions to become a Novice in the Black iVwfi7wry-*Cn- 
'intfsee^Occ^jpQtions ^f ffu Novieet-^TTie Apartme$ii9 to . 
whiek thm had Aece99—Pir8i Interview with Jane. Ray- 
Reverence for the Superior^— Her Reliqruea— T7i« Holy Good 
'*' Shepherd^ or nameless Nun— Confession of Novices. 

At fengtfa I determined to become a Biaek i^ub, 
and ealled «poti one of the oldest priests in the 
' Semineay, to whom I made known my int^fition. 

The old priest to Whom I a^^Iled was' Father 
fiocque. He is still aliye. He was at that time 
^'oldM priest in the Semifiiry, and earned the 
Bon Dien, {€k>od €k>d«) as the saemmental \va£»r is 
oatted. Wh^i ^ing to administer it in any c^imtry 
piaee, heniised to nie with a mxm befi)re him,' who 
rang a bell as a signal. When the Canadians 
Iteardk, whose hainta^ns he pa^ed^ th^ would 
ctnhe «dd pnSstrftte themseltres to the earth, worship- 
pmg It as God. Hd was a mwi of great age^ and 
wore largecnrif , so that he somewiiat resembled his 
predecessor, Father Roue. He was at that time at 
^e head of ^e Seminary. Thi» institittion is a large 
e^fice:, intuated near the Congregational and Black 
Nunneries, being on the east side of NAIre Dame- 
street. It is the general rendezvous and centred 
all the priests in the District of Montreal, and, I have 

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S4 tflAOK yUNNBmT. 

been told, sapplies all t% couBtry with foieBtt as 
, &r 3own as Three Rivers, which place, I believe, 
is under the charge of the Seminary of Q^aebec. 
About one hundred and fifty priests are connected 
with that of Montreal, as every small place has one 
priest, and a nunlber df larger ones have two. 

Father Rocque promised to converse with the Su- 
perior of the Convftnt^ and proposed my calling 
. again at the end of two weeks, at which time I visited 
the Seminary again, and was introduced by him tg 
the Superior of the Black Nunnery. She told me 
she must make some inquiries, before she could 
give me a decided answer ^ and proposed to me to 
take up my abode a few days at the house of; a 
French femily in St. Lawrence suburbs^ a, distant 
part of the city. Here I remained about a fortnight ; 
during which time I hnoed seme ^cfuaii^poe 
with the family, particularly with the mistress of the 
hous'e, who was a devoted Papist, apd had a high 
respect for the Superior, with^whcwa she stoo4 on 
good terms. 

At length, on Saturday morning abopi ten o'clock,- 
I called and was admitted into the Black Nunnery, 
as a novice^ much to my sati^ctioo, for I had a 
high idea of a lifs in a Conveait, secluded, as t sup- 
posed the inmates to be, from the world and all its 
evil influences, and assured of everlasting happiness 
in heaven. The Superior received me, and con- 
ducted me into a large room, where the novices, 
(who are called in French Postulantes,) were as- 

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MOoMed, ukl ^igaged m their cmtoniAry occiqMi- 
tbn of sewing, 

H^» were about forty of them, a&d tiiey were 
edfteeted m groups in difierent parts of the room» 
chiefly near the windows ; but in each group wa» 
fiytrnd (m& of the veiled nuns of the Convent, whose 
abode was in the interior apartments, to which no 
novice was to be admitted. As we entered, the Su- 
perior iniformed the assembly that a new novice had 
come) and iihe desired any present who might have 
icBown me in the world to signify it 

Two Miss Fougn6es, and a Miss Howard, from 
Vermont, who had been my fellow-pupils in the 
Congregational Nunnery, immediately recognised 
me. I was then placed in one of the groups, at a 
distance from them, and furnished by a nun called 
Sainte Clotiide, with materials to make a kind of 
purse^sttch as the priests use to carry the consecrated 
wtiiet in, wh^i they go to administer the sacrament 
to the sick. I well remember my fselings at that 
time, sitting among a number of strapgers, and ex- 
pe^ingrwith painftil anxiety the arrival of the din- 
ner hour. Theoy as I knew, ceremonies were to be 
performed, for which I was but ill prepared, as I had 
fiot y^ heard Ae rules by which I was to be gov- 
erned, and knew nothing of the forms to be repeated 
81 the daily exercises, except the creed in Latin, and 
timt imperfectly. This was during the time of rec- 
realion* as it is called. T^e only recreation there 
allowed, howev^, is that of the mind, and of this 
there is but little. We were kept at work, and per- 

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9^ BVkcK^'vminntLWi 

mitted to epttak iT^ith each other aitiy oit nxuokkA^^ 
jects as relate to the Convent, and all in the hearing 
of the oJd ntins ^ho sat by us. We proceeded to 
dinner in conples, and ate in silence while a leo 
ture was read. 

The novices had access to only eight of the apaft'^ 
ments of the Convent ; and whatever else we wish* 
ed to know, we could only conjecture. The sleeps 
mg room wasr in the second story, at the end of tlie 
western wing. The beds were placed in rows, 
without curtains or any thing else to obstruct the 
view ; and in one corner was a small room partition- 
ed off; in which was the bed of the night-watch, that 
is, the old nun that was appointed to oversee us for 
the night. In each side of the partition were two 
holes, through ' which she could look out upon us 
whenever she pleased. Her bed was a little rais^ 
above the level of the others. There was a lamp 
hung in the middle of our chamber, which showed 
every thing to her distinctly ; and as she had no 
light in her little room, We never could perceive 
whether she was awake or asieq>: As we knew that 
the slightest deviation from the rules would expose 
us to her observation, as well as to that of Qur 
companions, in whom it was a virtue ta betray one 
another's faults, as well as to confess our own, I 
felt myself under a continual exposure to suflbr what 
I disliked, and had my mind occupied in thinking 
of what I was to do next, and what I must avoid. 

I soon learned the rules and ceremonies we had 
to regard, which were many ; and we had to be very 

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jmmm-wimjmmtLm. tST 

sat daShamint Idacb lof work wltileltft«» a norie^ 

^gme.^hkk L saw, wb» a gich catpet mi d o of Sd^ 
worsted, whidii li«d-been:be|^fafi befoM^rayacquaiivtr 
untB wath tiie 'Ceimiit^ and was finidKid white I 
was dnvBi This wifts sent^afla^pnoaent to^iteJEQiag 
i]€ Ssgiand, fltt«n expitmi^n of igratitude for the 
mcnBy anmialfy tecerrM from ^le'giQYetiiijafiii^ , ft 
waaalioixtiwt^ ^rds in length, and tery handsoBatfr 
We w«re i^Qsiaatai Ito sunmntof nuonu^ ^kiut re- 
e«sired« The QanTetH; of Gtoey Nam has alsa are- 
eeivi^'ftalds firom the fotienancmt, though on teiat 
«^i€i9imit 0r«<her/had Eiot ^nsMveml yesrs. 

I was sitdng' by a^winctow at oUe time, i^ith ^ 
girl nain^ J^n^ ^*0^, wb^ ooe of the oM tmm 
^moie tip'Rod ^^oketa naoQ a tfxmcf UyeHnesi tod 
%^dnc^ w^ich sden»d 'Mimge, m a place whore 
W^rytHibg appsffirecl le&cold and z»sei^ed. Some 
ti»iic^ <wiiioh siie made waaeVidsntily intended to ' 
l^k«»er fufid ^miemn^ me,'anii^m8de me think that 
idle ^r^dme ii^iifest inr me. . I da not reeoUeet what 
Khe sitid^ bnt I feoMBiiber it: gaaoff me {^easmie I 
atoo apem^plier thafth^ maimer Struck nkeasigu- 
Ihrl/. She; ^m« cither 4)ldiS»i^ ft^ nan, thai is, |»roba- 
iitfthvuy^ her figure kxge, he; &ce wrinkled; and 
4as&t df«Bis ^earelevs. She ibeemed i^eb ta be under 
leba iieeftiaint than the olhlera, and: thds, I afterward 
^Imd, wa^ thp ease, ^he sometimes ev&i set. the 
ir^lea at d^laftce.^ She would spfeadt akmd whaa 
silence was required, s«d^^softietimeB i«^^ afcoitt 

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28 UAOK larmisAy. 

wtett«ltooiigfkt to have kept hftrplaee: tinbwmid 
eves say aiKU do thmga on purpose ta iiMike us 
laugh; and ahh<mgh often blamod for lier eondnet, 
^id her oieBces frequently passed overf when, othevs 
would have been punished wi^th penances. 

I learntdiatdiis woman had always been singoki; 
She neTer would cixisent to take a saint'a name en 
receiving the veil, and had idways been known by 
her own, which w«s Jane Ray. Her irregulioitiea 
w«re fiMmd to be numerous, and penances were of 
so little use in goveramg het, thatshe was pitted by, 
some, who thou^t bex partidly insane. She was 
^Marefore commonly i^pokod oC as mad Jane Bayi 
and when she committed a £iuk, it was often apolo^ 
gized ibr by the Superior or other nuns, on the 
ground that she did not know wha^ she (Ud. 

The occupations of a novice in the Black NuH" 
nery are not auch as some of my readers m^ 
suppose. Th^ are not employed in studying the 
higher branches of education ; they are not cdEfered 
any advantages for stonng their minds^. or polishing 
their manners; they are not taught even reading, 
writing, or arithm^ic ; much less any of die more 
advanced branches of knowledge. My time was 
chiefly en^Ioyed, at first, in work and prayers. It 
is true, during the last jrear I studied a great deal, 
and was required to work but very little ; but it was 
the study of prayers in French smd Latin, which I 
had merely to commit to memory, to prepare fox the 
easy repetition (^ them on my reception, and after I 
should te admitted as a nun. 

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^gof^jsmigiiidy t^ the^ ckf »fc^ a-ismn^ aipfmttd to 

first heard, while a novice, made a deep jt myMM MMa 
w^p0mjm^ voittA.: ' ^ ivas nevorfy wtMkoewm :-»- 
Thedoii^fator.of a «eat^.4^tkeavQf Montvwl 

m^ qnhm wa^ to aImiU^ wfae&jB^^Meas/siiddQiil^ 
ttoowQ^wii npen -the-sfeep».or D«ar ike-door, aad 
mceivG^ a v sefcire tihoBk. >^i^ wm takeaxipi. and 
rmotfed'&rst^I thiok, inio thexhwreli, Imt itooii-ifA) 
tto Blade liti«aearyvwhieii,;3he jsoon detemiified^o 
Tfiin as a:^wmy insteftd, howeirearf of Tbeiimrifeqiiitsd 
lO:fQ89jdir(iugh,d km^n6yii|Ube;X^^ oe- 

6U|^ea«il]eout two yeaarsanda halfi dod is^al»Fidfed 
jQtiiy wbore the charader is :peeiiliarl3r exemplary 
laitti .d^oa<4)t sJi^ - wa^ pctmittedt t& take >^ veil 
Iwitbmtdehy; ^fasiiigdiBelaredhy God^aprie^t^ 
,l|ft«iQ:a stale iOf-saaetity* Thpe^ n&mtti&g of tlm ex- 
^ffiSiiion i9^ikBtiib»,w9^ a real saiirt, aoA already id 
ai^fMit maiiataf (^.:rai0ed ahorethe J¥orld'«<)d its' in- 
4iMii^4 and juisa^ble of rafting, posseaamg the 
(foiter af iida^^sioni and bcangpa.pri^ec'ob^t to he 
addseoaed jit:prayer. Thi& remarkaibie individQal I 
-waato^r in&rmed was slill iatl^TConTeaC, though 
linerer wa» ^lomeA to see^hex.; sh^ did nc^mingie 
w^b*^^allier nuns, either at work, worship, 4»r 
aaals; £»r ^he bsd ik) need of food, and not oiily her 
soul, hot her' body, was ia heaven m. §raa£ part of 
iha tims^ ^Wiiat added, if possihl^ to the ^eri^psa 

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so B3UMSX KIPItllSftC 

«ad w^^f^tmui awe with vMA I thoii|^ of hn, 
w«8 4be£ict.Ileuiied»thatslieiaidBaiuuaMi. TfaB 
t^dmveed in i|Makiiigof hor w^e, tfae lioljr Mmil> 
reipeiseni nuadiOTt or aaiat bon putoiii, (die holygood 

It is wonder^ that we couid have earned oar 
xevcrence^Mhe Supeirior as &r as we did, ahhoi^ii 
it iwas tiie diveet tendency o£ many instrocticHus and 
legnlatioiis, intkedcf die whob ^^stem, to pexxnit, 
erea to §oaib&s a saperstkioiis regaxd fi>r her. €tM 
of. ua was oocankmliy ealled into her romB, to eat 
her naik, or dress her hair ; and we would (^ea 
c<^leet the olippiag8» a»d distribixte them to each 
other, or preserte them with the xitmost caie. I once 
picked up all the stray hairs I could find, a^er comb- 
ing her head, bound them together, and kept th^n 
for some time, imtil she told me I was not worthy 
to possess things so sacred. Jnse MOoj and 1 
w^e once sent to alter a dress for the Superior. I 
gathered up all the bits of thready madea little bag, 
and put them into k fyt safe preser^adim. This I 
wore a 4ong time around my neck, so long, indeed, 
that I wore^ut a number of strings, which, I remem- 
ber, I refdaced with new ernes. I beliered it to 
possess the power oi removing pain, and oft&a. pray- 
ed to it to euTQ the tooihaehe, &c. Jane Ray some- 
timtes professed to outgo us all in devodon to tl^ 
Superior, and would pick up the fea^&ers after ma- 
king her bed. Tbese she would distribute among 
UB, saying, ** When the Superior dies, reliques will 
begin ||^ grow scarce, and you had better im^^y 

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mmmom^'' Thflo riie wwld tnal di» 
liiM^le natter m n&am way to tant it ii^ ndkule. 
S^nHjr e(«tia£etory woald c^ «i^peur, when oe- 
^anoMtUy s^ woi^ criitaiB leave fi^ the Sta^erior 
19 t^l W dreantt. With a seriout iaee, vrbkk 
a&mn^mm iaiqtoaed upon all of m, and made m 
haU belieye 8ke was ki a perfect state of eancti^, 
Ab would nanrafee in French some unaccoui^Ue 
wiou which die said she had ei^yed. Then 
^numg rounds would say, ** Thei« are some who 
do uol wttderstand me; youall ought to heinformed.^^ 
,Aai then she would say something totally difieren 
in^English, i^i^kh put us to the gi^eatest agony for 
ktts^ of kughing. Sometimes she would say that 
ahe expected to be Superior herself^ one of these days, 
and other things which i haye not room to rq^ieat. ' 

While 1 was in the Ck)ngregational Nunnery, I 
luA gcme to the parish church whenever I was to 
confess; kft ahhim^ ike nuns' had a private con- 
featton^room in the btdiding, the boarders were ta> 
ken in parties thiough the streets on di^ent days 
by some of the nuns, to confess in the church ; but 
in the Black Numiei^, as we had a chapel and 
l^nests attending in the eonfessionals, we i^ver left 
the building. »• 

Qur confettsions there as novices, were always 
peifonned in erne way, so that it may be sufficient 
to des^ibe a sing^ case. Those of us who were 
to c^ess at a paxtiGular time, todc our places on 
our knees near the coB&N9«onay>oz, and afi»it having 

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a^ptaftai )i, nanbei: of pmyetB, 4^, yrmaiked^ 
Qixr hookoi came up one at « Hme nni\ k«c ioi <d beside 
a^fine* woodett lattiee^wQik, w|ik>h entiiofy aepamtcsd 
the c^Mifeaocyr ftoin 4ia, yot permitted uatopkee-our 
6eea almost io hw- ear, and nearly concealed hie 
eouctleiianee from idew» even when eo; neux* I f ee- 
oUeet iiow the pneata used to reelme their headb 
on one aide* and often oovePed their fiiees with their 
handkercbiefe, while they heard meconieite mfshn, 
and put queationato me, which were often of tbamoat 
improper! and even revoking nature^ naming erkaes 
both onthought of and inhuman. Stilly atrange^a&it 
may Beam, I was pervaded to believe that all this was 
their duty, or at least that it was done without sia. 

Veiled mina would often appear in the chapel at 
confession f though, as I understood, they generally 
cor^fesaed in private. Of the plan of their confes. 
aion^rooms I had no information; but I saj^Kiaed 
the ceremony to be conducted much on the same 
plan as in the chapel and in the chuveh, vizr with a 
lattice interposed betweea die con^easov and the 
confessing. • » 

^ Punishments were sometimes xesorted to, while I 
was a novice, though but seldom. The first time I 
ever saw a gag, was one day when a young novice 
had done something to offend the Superior. This 
girl I always had compaesionfor; because ab& waa 
very young, and an orphan. Thie Superior sent for 
a gag, and expressed her regret at being compelled* 
by the bad conduct ^. the clMld, U> proceed to suck 

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1I.ACK NVNNmftT. 99 

mfwaiAmwi] after which ske put it into her momk, 
ap &r «8 to keep it open, and then let It remam 
some tine before she took it oat There was a 
leathern strap fiutened to each end, and hackled to 
the bade part of the head. 

Di^ized by Google 


Di8pUa9ed with the Convent — Left it — Residence at St. Dent» 
— Relufues — Marriager— Return to the Black Nunnery— Ob^ 
jections made by some Novice^ — Ideas qfihe Bible, 

After I had been in the nunneries four or five 
years, from the time I commenced school at the Con- 
gregational Convent, one day I was treated by one of 
the nuns in a manner which displeased me, and 
because I expressed some resentment, was required 
to beg her pardon. Not being satisfied with this, 
although I complied with the command, nor with the 
coolness with which the Superior treated me, I deter- 
mined to qrjt the Convent at once, which I did vnth- 
out asking leave. There would have been no 
obstacle to my departure, I presume, novice as I 
then was, if I had asked permission ; but I was too 
much displeased to wait for that, and went home 
without speaking to any one on the subject. 

I soon after visited the town of St. Denis, where 
I saw two young ladies with whom I had formerly 
been acqmainted in Montreal, and one of them a for- 
mer schoolmate at Mr. Workman's school. After 
some conversation with me, and learning that I had 
known a lady who kept school in the place, they 
advised me to apply to her to be employed- as her 
assistant teacher ; for she was then instructing the 
government school in that place. 

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* £ vhited h^ ^md %mtiA het m&isn^i and I enfaged 
^ once la her assistttnt: 

ThegoVBrmnemsocktypttidli«p£0^.a-year; the 
xvas o^tiged tci tettch teto cbildren grataitoasty ; migbt 
receive fifteen pence a month, (ahout a-quaxtei of a 
d<dfar,) ibr ^ach of tmi dchblaes more^ aitd theai she 
vwais at Hfaefty, laecardiBgstothe regciladons, to demand 
as much as she pleased for the other pap^s. Tke 
<^i»se of itofitnsf^fciim, as required by tbe 8oclety;iem- 
tmuredronly reading, wrking, and what was^called 
{ciphering, though' I th ttik improperiyt Tba only 
^oks «ised were a i^lliBg^4)ook, rinMniction do \k 
Ie«me8se,theOatholio New TeatameiDt, and I'Histoire 
de Canada. When ^klsBse had been read through, in 
reguke sacceasion, the children were dismissed aa 
iKiring compl^d their education. No difficulty in 
foundin nmking t^ commc^ Frenchdinadiana coi»- 
tant with such an amount of inslruQiiion as M» \ ^n (Jae 
contrary^ it is <^en very hard indeed to prei^ upon 
diem to send their diildrcn at all, for thsy sayattakofi * 
too: much of the loire of God from th^ t(> send th^m 
ti9 school The teacharatricAly coro^tied with th^ 
ireqajsidosia.of die aociaty intWJiQseic^Qiiiibyfiielvt isha 
was, and the Bsmaiv €S^haiie: .ealochisttn ^as regru- 
Idriy taiBi^t in the tAooh ns xomh. &)ira choice as 
from subniissbn ib anthacit)^ as -she w)^ a s^idt 
Oaitholic. I' had broa^ w&iiaQe Iha litfle bag. I 
ha^ bdbre meni^cmed; m whieb I had ao Idng. k|^ 
die clippings of the Ihread left afthr making a dresi 
jfor the Superior. Suol! was iny i^ard for it, thml^ 
coi^nued to wear k constantly roaad my neck.^od 

%gitized by Google 

f6 BLACK Hvinfamy. 

to feel tiie same rerereBoe for kt supposed virtaeB 8S 
belbre. I occasioiialiy had ttie toothache daring 
mjr stay at St. Denis, and then always relied on the 
influence of my little bag. On such occamons I 
would say — 

•* By the virtue of this bag, may I be delivered 
from the toothache ; " and I supposed that when it 
ceased, it was owing to that cause. 

While engaged in this manner, I became ac- 
quainted with a man who soon proposed marriage: 
and young and ignorant of the world as I was, I 
heard his ofifers with fiivour. On consulting with my 
Mend, she expressed an interest for me, advndi 
me against taking such a step, and especially as 
I knew little about the man, except that a report 
was circulated unfavourable to his character. Un- 
fortunately, I was not wise enough to list^i to her 
advice, and hastily married. In a few weeks, I had 
occasion to repent of the step I had taken, as the re- 
port proved true — a report which I thought justified, 
and indeed required, our separation. After I had 
been in St. Denis about three months, finding my- 
self thus situated, and not knowing what else to do, 
I determined to return to the Convent, and pursue 
my former intention of becoming a Black nun, could 
I gain admittance. Knowing the many inquiries 
Uiat the Superior would make relative to me, during 
my absence before leaving St Denis, I agreed with 
the lady with whom I had been associated as a 
teacher, (when she went to Montreal, ^hich she did 
very firequently,) to say to the Lady Superior that I 

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^l iMMif ji^»ftiUetrtbn^ 'Pko^i 4b^M»m I*te& hem 

, . J «09» xfUuc^ed ta MoHtrecilt and Oi tfnihily the 

^a^.U)«^^p$)»oi: <^^^isomiiiiii»^tQ^ and 

JLiHle delay, i4ciwje4. t . • . . - . 

After leaving me for a ^ort time, keretumed, a«d 

,^ tba( ti^Baf^^ ^-<Jie C^onwi^ kad -con- 

i4^(^tfd, m^ X tva%isQoiM94Cfit^C0d laldJieiupirmQae. 

S|»e blao^ u^ $^r jp|r.c^^s4u<^ia4aimg tlw aiai- 

i^ary, b^ told. me ^t^ LqVigkt ^ 1>9 mmr ffCota^ 

t9 jt^y gi^di^ angel fi>r tAki^g j:iire^f m*^ and 

qi|Q6t^ that I mgj^i he 9eQU)|64 «gaaMt tbe re- 
proaches and cid^o^e of «U ih^ OiO^ices and nunt, 
which I thokUgt^ some x^tgfat h% divpofied to cast 
ttpQnm(#uQ\esifipr9hihit€^>yjth^i&tt|iedof ; andtbis' 
she promised ;§i^ . The j[|oj»^y, iJwaliy jw^od 
for the adn^issiofi, 0t Qov^iV bad jMi bera expected 
tram me, I had been .^(bnMt^tlie first ^m» with- 
QvXmy such fe(]^$itipii4 4;^^ ^^i^ i di^e to pay it 
/or ijoy re^dmifisloo. . 1 1^^ that dia was a^ tt 
dispense with s^tc^x ^ imm^ «^ ^^ m tUs «« the 
former case, and .«be kj^4m tb^I was notai passes- 
si<m pf any fliing Ijykfi^lb&^^fi^^jrequijBed. ;. 

Bujt I was benj^^on paying to the Niumeryt and ^ 
nccustom^ to rece^e^he doc^im fi^m 9rep0ate4M* 
me before that time, that. when the advantage of %0 
4 ^ 

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mjecm Mvimcirr. 

Mk«d k> oblain money on iUse pretences, confident 
that if all weee known, I ^MmM be fiur fh>m 4te. 
pteteinff tlie £kiperi<». I went to the brigade ma- 
jor, and ariced him to give me the money payaUe 
to my meCher from herpm»ion, which amoonted 
to abonl^ thirty dolkot, and without questioning 
my authority to receive it in h^ name, he gave 
me it 

From several of her frienda 1 obtained s^nall sum* 
under the name of loane, so that altog^her I had 
soon raised a number of pounds, with \i^ich I has> 
l^aed to the nunnery, and deposited a part in the 
hands of the Superior. fiMie received the money 
with evident satisfiustion, though she must have 
known that I could not have obtained it honestly; 
and I was at once re-admitted as a novice. 

Much to my gratification, not a word fell from 
the lips of any ai my old associates in fetation to 
my u2ioeremenious departure, nor my voluntary re- 
^ tank The Superior^ orders, I had not a doubt, had 
been explicitly kid down,^ tmd they certainly were 
cardhily obeyed, for I never heard an allusion made 
to diat subject during my subsequent stay in the 
Convmit, exeeptthat, wh^i aloaei the Superior would 
hers^ sometimes say a Uttle ab6Ut it. 

There were numbers ci young kdies who enter- 
ed awhile as novices, and became weary, or dis- 
gusted with some ^ingsthey obs^ved, and remained 
%iit a short time. One of mv cousins, who lived. 

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at Lachine, named Re^ i^pent dbeirt a ibrt&^fal in 
die Conveaat with me. She, however, efmcmvei 
such an antipath|r against die priests, Uiat she imti* 
expressions which ofiended-the Superior. 

The first day she attended mass, while at dinner 
with as in full communky, riie said before in all: 
•*What a rascal that pri^ was, to preach against 
his best friend!" 

All stabred at such an imusual ejcelanation, and 
some one ia<}tiired what she meant 

** I say," she ct^tinvied, **he has been preaching 
against him who gires him his bread. Do you 
suppose that H'diere were fto detU, there wonM be 
May priests?" 

This bold young noTiee was immedkfieiy dis- 
missed; md in the afternoon we had a Imig mmon 
from the Superior on the sttbjeet. 

It happaied that I one day got a leaf of an Eng- 
Hsh Bible, which had been brought into the Convent, 
wrapped round some sew&g silk, puraha^^ at a 
store in the city. iH>r some reason qt other, I de. 
termined to commit to maraory a cha^r it contain- * 
ed, which I soon did. It is the only chapter I over 
Jeamt in the Btble, and I can now repeat it It is 
^e se<»nd of St. MatAew's gospel, ** Now when 
Jesus was bom in Bethlehem of Judea," &c. 

It happened that I was observed readu^ the 
paper, and M^en the nature of it was discovered^^dP^, 
was condemned to do penance for my offence. ^ 

Great dislike to the BiUe was shown by those 
who conversed with me about it, and aevefal have 

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4% B^4QX H9WKSEY* 

to me, at difiereot times, thatif it were 
not ht that book, CatWics woukl nevej: be led to 
imamoce thetr own fiutk. 

I heard passages read from tbe Evangile, relating 
to 4he death oi Christ ; the conversion of Paul; a 
few chapters from St Matt|iew, and perhi^ a few 
others. The priests would also sometimes take & 
verse or two, and preach from it. I read St. Peter's 
life, but only in the book called the " Lives oC the 
Saints." He, I understand, has the keys of heayea 
and hell^ and has founded our churchy As for St. 
PmQ, I remember, as I w^fs taught to understand it, 
that -he was^Qocea great persecutor of the {toman 
O^itholies, until he became convicted, and confessed 
to one of ^ jSMbUr cmfetMrs^ I dou't know which. 
For w1m> can expect to be fiNrgiven who does not 
become a Catholic, and 90ii£w2 

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9trueHcn» reeeivtd on tht SubjtcL 

Tss day on which I received confirmation was a 
distressing one to me. I believed the doctrine of 
the Roman Catholics, and according to them I was 
guilty of tfiree mortal sins ; concealing something 
at confession, sacrilege, in putting the body of Christ 
in the sacrament under my fed, and receiving it 
while not in a state of grace : and now,.! had fas^n 
led into all those sins in consequence of my mar- 
riage, which I never had acknowledged^ as it would 
have cut me offlrom being admitted as a nun.«' 

On the day, therefore, when I went to the church 
to be confirmed, with a number of others, I sufie^id 
extremely from the reproaches of my conscienoel 
I knew, at least l^heliered, as I had been told, that 
a person who had been anointed wkh the holy oil 
of confirn^tion on the forehead, and dyinf in the 
, stale in which I was, would go down to hell, and in 
the place where the <^ had been rubbed, the names 
of my sins would blaze out on my fi^ehead ; these 
would be'^asign by which the dil^ils wotdd know 
'me; and they wojuld tcmnent me the worse for the^. 
I wSe thinking of all this, while I sat in the pew, 
waiting to receive* the oil. I felt, however, some 
«oi|80iation« as I often did afterward when my sins 

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came to mind ; and this coiiaolation I derived from 
another doctrine of the same church : viz. that a 
bishop could absolve me from all these sins any 
minute b^re my death ; alid I intended to confess 
them all to a bishop before leaving the world. At 
length, the ttioment for administering Ae •• sacra- 
ment" arrived, and a bell was rung. Those who 
had £ome to be confirmed had brought tickets 
from their confessors, and these were thrown hXo a 
hat, carried around by a priest, who in turn hvided 
each to the bishop, by which he learnt the name of 
each of us, and applied a little of the oil to our fore- 
heads. This was immediately rubbed off by a 
priest with a bit of cloth, quite roughly. 

I went home with some qualms of conscience, 
and often thought with dread of the following tale, 
which I have heard told to illustrate the sinfinlness 
of conduct like mine. 

A priest was once travelling, when, just as he was 
passing by a house, his horse fell on his kne^es, 
and would not rise« His rider dismounted, and 
went in to learn the cause of so extraordinary an 
occurrence. He found there a woman near death, 
to whom a priest was trying to administer the sa- 
crament,* but without success j for every time she . 
attempted to swallow it, it was thrown back out of 
her moi^ into |^ chalice. He perceived t it was 
owing to unconfessed sin, and took away the holy, 
wafer from her : on which his horse rose from his 
knees, and he pursued his journey. 

I often remembered als«!that'I had been tol^, that 

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we shall have as many derils h^dag us, if we go to 
h^, as we bare xmconfessed sins on oar con- 
sciences. . . 

I was required to devote myself for about a year, 
UMiie^sMy of the imyers and the practice of the 
t^ieitttiic^ies necessary on the reee{)tioa of « nan. 
This I found a very tedious duty; but as Iwas rc- 
'4fietsed ia..a gp;ea^ ^degree from the daily labotlrs 
.usually demanded of novices, I felt little disposition 
i^ eoii^plain. 

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Taking Ae VeU-^inierview qfhntmrd wUh HU <fty<rfaf' 
iktrpriae o^tf komr mi her IHttimurM^ Bu ^ h i Hfn #9 

I WAS introduced into the Superior's room cm iSsm 

evening preceding the day on which I was to take 
the veil, to have an interview with the Bkiiop. Thm 
Superior was present, and the interview lasted about 
half an hour. The Bishop on this as on other oc- 
casions appeared to me habitiudly rough in' his 
manners. His address wad by no means prepos* 

Before I took the veil, I was ornamented for the 
ceremony, and was clothed in a rich dress belong- 
ing to the Oonyent, which was used on such oc- 
casions ; and placed not &r from the altar in the 
chapel; in the view of a number of spectators who 
had assembled, perhaps about forty. Taking the 
veil is an affkiT which occurs so frequently in Mon- 
treal, that it has long ceased to be regarded as a . 
novelty; and, although notice had been given m the 
French parish church as usual, only a small audi- 
ence had assembled, as I have mentioned. 

Being welf prepared with a long training, immI 
frequent rehearsals, for what I was to perform, I 
stood Waiting in my large flowing dress for the ap- 
pearance of the Bisho)). He soon presented him- 
self enlering by the door behind the altar; I then 

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tkseor iafBeii al ida belt, a^d ^ked him to coitfer 
vqptexne %ft^ v^L He expressed kis consent, and 
thiww it^y^iny kead« fia^ing^ " Receive tke veilt 
O tii^i: j^pcmsek of Jesas Christ;" and then taming 
te th»€ki^em)f^ I thxem mj^lf ^estratOrat her feet, 
^cofding to^mf m^tmlioim^ r^iieating what I had 
before done at Yehda?sala« and made a moYement as 
if to kisB her feet TIhs^ fihe^pevented, or ap- 
feaTed lo preyent» catchup^ sobe by a sudden nKiti<)n 
of her handy a»d granted mf sequQ^.. I then 
kl»e2«dbe£^re Ae Heiy S^fixaXMMt that is^ a yery 
large rOuad wafer held hy>he Bkhop jbetwe^ hia 
§B(tt-ta^wid d»smb, juid mad/^Tsaj vonrs. 
; IMn wafer I had beea laaght te regard with the 
vtnost venerata«»» aa the red body d Jesus Christ, 
ttnrp^esenoeof whish inade the vows uttered before 
H biisli^g in the fooot: s<^egini»annar, 

Ator taking the Tow£^ I pc$iceeded ta a small 
afaitip|«^ behind Ike jdtiMr« aoeiompanied by foux 
nuns, where was a co&i prepared, with my nun 
mam^ ettgnupitt i]^on it: 

' •* Satht* EusTa<»." : 

%y companions Med it bjr fbur haitdles attttehed 
to it; while I threw off my dress, «md pitt on that of 
a ntm of Bceur Botrt^eoiscS; an^ then we all *e^ 
turned to the idhapei. f pioeeeded first, and was 
followed by the four nuns; the Bishop maaaing a 
number of worldly pleasures in rapM succes^n, in 
reply to wMdh I as rapHly repeated— ^ Je rfh 
nonce, jerrenonce, je renonee'*-4l ^nounee, I re^ 
ttbunce, I renoonde] 

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The coffin was then placed in trout ^ the idtaf^ 
and I advanced to lay myadtf in k. Thk oeS& 
was to be deposited, aftet the cer^non^r* in an ofot^ 
house, to be preserved until my death, wh&n it waa 
10 receive my corpse. There we«te reflections^ whicb 
i haturaliy made at that time, but I stej^md m, ex» 
tended myself and lay^ still. A pillow had beav 
placed at the^head of the iroflin, to au;^^ my head 
in a comfortable posidon. A large, thick Uadc 
'cloth was then spread over me, and the dianting of 
liOtinhjrnmsimB^ediatdyeomBteaced. Mythongi^ 
were not the most pleasing daring the time I lay ia 
that situation. The paU, or Drap Msattx^ as tkm 
cloth is called, had a strtEmg amell of ineense, wliich 
was always disagreeable to me, and then provoi 
almost sofibcating. I recollected also a story I had 
heard of a novice, who, in taking the vefl, iay dowft 
in her coffin Uke me, and was covered in the Sttne 
manner, but on Uie removal of the 4»irejmg was 
found dead. 

When I was uncovered, Lroee, stopped o«it of 
my coffin, and kneeled. The Biiriiop then address- 
ed these ^ words to the Superior, ** Take care and 
keep pure and i^less this young virgin, whom 
Christ has ctmsecrated to hisMtelf this day." After 
w|ich the musk, cammenoed, and hera the whole 
was finished. I then proceeded from the^chi^i^ 
9Sid returned to the Supec^or's ropm, followed by 
the other nuns, who walked two by tw^, in their 
customary manner, with dieir hands folded on their. 
brei»ts^and their ejres cast down up^n the 6aot» 

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L itt^mm to lift my ffttwpwrioii. in fiiUtMi 
€mk vmObtd at ^w txd. tMt the proeessittij Ob 
nac^iif. ^ SupimoT'ft doof, th«y all Idl n^ axA 
f tiotemi abne, and ^Huad W witk the Bidu^ and 

Tl» Superior now informed me, that having takeo 
Ihe Maek veil, it only T«gaained that I should m/re^v 
1^ thveeeatke eu8l<Mnary on becomuig a nun ; and 
thi^ senile eacphtnatioiw would be necessary ftcm. 
iief . I was now, she told me, to have access to 
etery part of the edifice, evjen to the cellar, whei» 
two of the sisteiB were imprisoned for causes which 
liie 4iA not in«itioD« I must he iniprmed, that (Hie 
of my jg^real duties was, to obey the priests in, all 
4ik^ ; and ^s I soon learnt, to my utter astooisfa- 
menl and hotroTv wtis to live in the practice of 
eiiminal intercourse with them. I expressed some 
^ t3ie feelmgs which thttf announcement excited in 
me^ which eame upffld me likeaflasbof lightning. 
but the only ^^t was to set her arguing with me, 
in fiivour of the criige, n^[»reseflling it as a virtue 
aceeptftble to Qoi, and honourable to me. The 
^rie«t% she said» were not situated like other men, 
being ibrbidden to marry ; while they lived seclu- 
ded, laborii^s, and self-denying lives for our salva- 
tion. They might, indeed, be considered our sa- 
inours, as widiout thdr services we could hot obtain- 
the pardon c^ sin, and must go to hell Now, it* 
Wf» our solemn duty, on withdrawing from the 
^orld, to consecrate our lives to religion, to practise ' 
earerjF i^pecies of self-denial. We could not become 


»h»ipiig ia tlsa sig^ a£ God. . I i«q« f^ ^op^Jmu^ 
ish I had been to place myself in the powMK^Cawk 
feisOQftAs weceaieunljnCi ^ : 

' • Fcom what iba «akLLe9i4^.<b%jiv. m i^lMIt <h«^ 
Qiwon,hut Unt 1 was xeq4m»dla|yel^i}ll»i^ja^ 
fltaidQsad<)f heiftgt, aod tkatall loy /ytvi^^aaa^ 
atea were bab&uidly.guiby oCthe moat i^ip^s ft|^ 
d«tesiBUeciinBe& .Whea lr€peataAiriy.eflq »totai g na 
af Burpiiae and hosror.aha iM^em 4hat aacli^ {9^ 
i&fs weea aery >cofliiJae»; at ferst^fiad that OMUif 
otbar mraa had expaaased themaeltsaa aa I: didii«rW 
had loaf aittcachttsigailtheucwndd*; l^h^v^M^ 
4haloa her eiitraiiceiatoihA^aimii^^^haJ^^^^ 
likeitie. - < . - . .. . \^ ;. -. 

Douto, ahe deolarad^ ware. aoMog. mfi^gfi^tJ^ 
epeinies. They vrgiM l^ .w,tla. ^ifigan ev^iy 
pOBot of duly^ tmd induaa ualo wa?:^.ajf ai^jK stfH^ 
Thay araae only £roa» y a m aigyHg . ia^fcsfe^tioa^aii^ 
were always evadaneaof sin^ .Oar ooly wn^^sma 
to* diamtas tiMm komadtttaly^ vS^^t^ aiad aaafeaa 
them. They w^edaa41y 8iQa» a^d.womld aaadexaa 
us ta hall, ifw^ahoi^^ wjAoul CQ^feaaiog tl^etiir 
Priests, she insisted, could ML sin. Jt.w^iar^ t^iw 
impossible. Ewry thing thai they did^ and wi9had, 
was of course right* She hoped I would see tha 
xeasonableness and du^ of tibe oatba I waa^ taics^ 
and he faithful to them. . v 

She gave me another i»eee <^ information which 

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BtACK NimNEtT. ^ 

eie^ed other fbdings in me, scarcely less dreadflol. 
la&nts Were sometimes bom in the comrent : but 
they were always baptized and immediately stran- 
gled ! This secured their everlasting happiness ; 
for the baptism purified them from all sinfulness, 
and being sent out of the world before they had 
time to do any thing wrong, they were nt once ad- 
mitted into h^Ten. ' How happy, she exclaimed, 
are those who secure immortal happiness to su^h 
little beings ! Their little souls would thank those 
who kill their bodies, if they had it in their power ! 
Into what a place and among what society had I 
been admitted I How difierently did a Convent fiow 

■ appear from what I had supposed it to be ! The 
holy women I had always &ncied the nuns to be, 
Ae venerable Lady Superior, what were they? 
And the priests of the Seminary adjoining, some of 
whom indeed I had had reason to think were base 

■ and profligate men, what were they all % I now 
learnt they were often admitted into the nunnery, 
and allowed to indulge in the greatest crimes, which 
they and others called virtues. 

After having listened for some time to the Supe- 
rior alone, a number of the nuns were admitted, 
and took a free part m the conversation. They 
concurred in every thing which she had told me, 
and repeated, without any signs of shame or com- 
punction, things which criminated themselves. I 
must acknowledge the truth, and declare that all 
this had an effect upon my mind. I questioned 
whether I might not be in the wrong, and fell As if 

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tbeir reaaoning might have some just fauadaticm. 
I had been several years under the tuition of Cath- 
olics, and was ignorant of the Scriptures, and un- 
aceustomed to the society, example, and conversa- 
Uon of Protestants ; had not heard any appeal to 
the Bible as authority, but had been taught, both by 
precept and example, to receive as truth every thing 
said by the priests. I had not heard their authority 
questioned, nor any thing said of any other standard 
of &ith but their declarations. I had long been im- 
miliar with the corrupt and licentious expressions 
which some of them use at confessions, and believed 
that other women were also. I had no standard of 
4tity to refer to, and no judgment of my own which 
I knew how to use, or thought of using. 

All around me insisted that my doubts proved 
only my own ignorance and sinfulness^ that tbey 
knew by experience they would soon give place to 
true knowledge, and an advance in religion ; and I 
fek something like indecision. 

Still, there was so much that disgusted me in the 
discovery I had now made, of the debased charac- 
ters around me, that I would most gladly have es- 
caped from the niinnery, and never returned. But 
that was a thing not to be thought of. I was in 
their power, and this I deeply felt, while I thought 
ihere was not one among the whole number of nuns 
to whom I could look for kindness. There was 
one, however, who began to speak to me at length 
in a tone that gained something of my confidence,^— 
th« nun whom I have mentioned before as distin- 

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guished by her oddity, Jane Ray, who made us so 
much amusement when I was a novice. Although, 
as I h^ve remarked, there was nothing in her £ice, 
fi)rm, or manners, to give me any pleasure, she ad- 
dressed me with apparefnt friendlmess ; and while 
she seemed to concur with some things spoken by' 
them, took an opportunity to whisper a few words 
in my ear, unheard by them, intimating that I had 
better comply with every thing the Superior desired, 
if I would save my life. I was somewhat alarmed 
before, but I now became much more so, and deter- 
mined to make no furthier resistance. The Superior 
then made rae repeat the three oaths ,• and when I 
had sworn them, I was shown into one of the eom- 
munity rooms, and remained some time with the 
nuns, who were released from their usual employ- 
ments, and enjoying a recreation day, on account of 
the admission of a new sister. My feelings during 
the remainder of that day, I shall not attempt to 
describe ; but pass on to mention the ceremonies 
which took place at dinner. This description may 
give an idea of the manner in which we always 
took our mehls, although there were some points in 
which the breakfast and supper were different. 

i\t 11 o'clock the bell rung for dinner, and the 
nnnt; all took their places in a double row, in the 
same order as that in which they left the chapel in 
the morning, except that my companion and mjrself 
were stationed at the end of the line. Standing thus 
for a moment, with our hands placed one on the 
other*over the breast, and hidden ih our large cuiBk 

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vnth om beads b^it forward, and eyes fixed on the 
floor; an old pun who stood at the door, clapped, 
her hands as a signal for us to proceed, and the 
procession moved on, while we all commenced the. 
repetition of litanies. We walked on in this order« 
repeating all the way, until we reached the door of 
the dining-room, where we were divided into two 
linef ; those on the right passing down one side of 
the long table, and those on the left the other, till all 
were in, and each stopped in her place. The plates 
were all ranged, eachvtritha knife, fork, and spoon, 
rolled up in a napkin, and tied round with a linen 
bimd marked with the owner!s name. My own 
plate, knife, fork, &c., were prepared like the rest,, 
and on the band around them I found my new name 
written :-^** Saint Eustace." 
' There we stood till aH had concluded the litany ; 
when the old mm who had taken her place at the 
head of the table next the door, said the prayer be-, 
fore meat, beginning " Benedicite," and we s^t dowpk^ 
I do not remember of what our dinner consisted^ 
hut we usually had soup and some plain dish of 
meat, the remains of which were occasionally 
served up at supper as a fricassee. One of the nuns 
w;ho had been appointed to read that day, rose and 
began a lecture from a book put ixAo her hands by 
1;he Superior, while the rest of us ate in perfect si- 
lence. The nun who reads during dinner, sta^ 
fifterward to dine. As fast as we finished o^ 
meals, each rolled up her kniie, fork, and spoon 
in hes napkin, and bound them together with the 

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band, and set with hands folded. The old nun 
then said a short prayer, rose, stepped a little aside* 
clapped her hands, and we marched towards the 
door, bowings as we passed before a little chapel 
or glas^ box, containing a wax image of the in£mt 

Nothing inqxHrtant occurred unt^^ late in the af- 
ttgcn&m, when, as I was sitting in the commimity* 
room, Father Dufrteie called me out, sa3ring k» 
wkhed to speak with me. I feared what was his 
intention; but I dared not dirobey. In a private 
iq^ment, he treated me in a brutal mmmer ; and 
firom two other priests, I afterward received similat 
usage that ev^iing. Father Dufiresne a^rward 
appeared again ; and I was comp^ed to remain in 
.company with him until morning. 

I am assured that the conduct of priests in our 
Convent has never been exported, and is not imagined 
by th0 people of the United Stfites. This induces 
me to say what I do, notwithstanding the strong 
leasons I have to kt it remain unknown. Still, I 
eannot force mjrself to speak on such suljfcta ex* 
tiBipt in the most hri^ manner. 

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Daily CeremohUg^Jane jRoy among the NtmM, 

On Thursday morning, the bell rung at half-past 
six to awaken us. The old nun who was actmg «g 
night-watch immedis^y spoke aloiid: 
^ *' Voici le Seigneur qui yient" (B^old the Lend 
e<Hneth.) The nuns all responded : 

'*Allon8ty deimnt lui;" (Let us go and meet 

We then rose immediatdy, and dtessed i^ expe^ 
dtously as possible, st^^ng into the7;)a8sage^way 
at the foot of our beds as soon as we were ready, 
and taking places each beside her opposite com- 
panion. Thus we were soon drawn up in a double 
row the whole length of t^ ro(»n, with our hands 
felded across our breasts, and concealed in ^ 
Iroad cuffe of o«rr sleeves. Not a word was uttered^ 
Wh^i theeigiial was give», we aU paroce^ded to ^e 
communily-room, which is spacious, and took our 
places in rows feeing the entrance, near which the 
Superior was seated in a vergiere, or large chair. 

We first repeated, " Au nom du Pere, du Fils, et 
du Saint Esprit — ^Ainsi soit il." (In the name of 
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost — Amen.) 

We then kneeled and kissed the floor ; then, still 
on our knees, we said a very long prayer, begin^ 
ing: Divin Jesus, Sauveur de mon Ame, (Kvine 

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^J^BUf, Saviaur of my soul.) Then cam^ the Lor4'» 
prayer, three Hail Marys, four creeds, and five 

,. epn&ssious, (cou&sseji Dieu.) 

Next we repeated the ten conunandments. Then we 
jrpeated the Acts of Faith, and a prayer to the Vir- 
gin in Latin, (which, like every thing else in Lot- 

^ in, I never undjeratood a word of.) Next we smd 
the litanies of the holy name of Jesus, in Latin, 
which was afterward to be repeasted several times 
in the course of the 4ay. Then came the prayer 
for the beginning of the day; then bending dowfr, 
.we commenced the Orison Mental, (or Mental Ori- 
fion^) which lasted about an hpur and a half. 

This exercise was considered peculiarly solemn. 
;We were told in the nunnery that a certain saint 

- was saved by the use of it, as be never omitted it. 
rlt consists of several parts : First, the Superior 
read to us a chapter from a book, which occupied 

^ fiv^ minutes. Then profound silence prevailed for 

, fifteen minutes, during which we were meditating 

,^ Tiipon it, Then she read another chapter of equal 
length, on a different subject, and we meditated upon 
that miother quarter of an hour; and after a third 
riding and meditation, we finished the exercise 

. with a prayer, called an act of contrition, in which 

; we adeed forgiveness for the sins committed during 

^ thQ Orison. 

During this hour and a half. I became very weary, 
.having b^ore been .kneeling for some time, and hav- 
ing theu to sit in another position more uncomfbrt. 

^ ^le^ with my feet under me, my hands clasped. 

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and my body b^t humbly forward, with my head 
bowed down. 

When the Orison was over, we all rose' to the 
upright kneeKng posture, and repeated several pray- 
ers, and the litanies of the providences, "provi- 
dence de Dieu," &c. ; then followed a number of 
Latin prayers, which we repeated on the way to 
mass, for in the nunnery we had mass daily. 

When mass was over we proceeded in our usual 
order to the eating-room to breakfast, practising the 
same forms which I have described at dinner. Hav- 
ing made our meal in silence, we repeated the litanies 
of the ** holy name of Jesus** as we, proceeded -to the 
community-room; and such as had not finished 
them on their arrival, threw themselves upon their 
kn^s, and remained there until they had gone 
through with them, and then kissing the floor, rose 

At nine o'clock commenced the lecture, which 
was read by a nun appointed to perform that duty 
Uiat day ; all the rest of us in the room being en- 
gaged in work. 

The nims were at this time distributed in difier- 
ent community-rooms, at different kinds of work, and 
in each were listening to a lecture. This exercise 
continued until ten o'clock, when the recreation-bell 
rang. We still continued our work, but the nuns 
began to converse with each other, on subjects per- 
mitted by the rules, in the hearing of the old nuns, 
one of whom was seated in each of the groups. 

At half-past ten the siience-bell rang, and thsn 

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emvnvtt^^iQn iimtently ceased, and ^ recjtatioo irf* 
rnm^ JLa^ prayers commenced, which coDtioued 

. Ateleveii o'doek the dinner-bell rang, and then 
•:vi^ p^C0ceeded t^ibe dimng-room, and went throqgh 
the forms and ceremonies of the preceding day. We 
^rocea^ two hy two. The oM nun who had the 
^Kunnnad of i^fs, claj^i^ed her hands as the first cou- 
]pib le^hed the door, when we stopped. The £n;t 
^wo dipped their fingers mto the font, touched the 
holy waiter to the teeast, forehead, and each side,, 
thus fopning a cross, said, ** In the name oi the 
^atherfc Son, and Holy Ghost, Amen," and then 
H^ke^ on to ^e, dining-room, reputing the litanies^ 
:!rhe vest followed their example. On reaching the 
/^oof the couples divided, and the two rows of nuna 
mkrching up, stopped and faced the table against 
ifaeir plate& There we stood, sepes^g th^ close of 
jthe litany aloud^ The old nnn th^ii pronounced ^ 

•* BSNEPiCtT^" 

md we sat idown. One of our number began to r^d 
;ft lecture, whiph continued during the whole meal f 
file stays to eat ^after the rest have retired. When 
we had dined, each of us folded \fp her naj^i^ 
«itd again folded her hands. The old nun then 
,;rf»peatc4 ft short prayer in French, and stepping 
^fide pcom, t^ head of the tied^le, hi Us pass out aa 
we came in. Each of us bowed in passing the litt^ 
i«ihapel near the door, which is a glass case, 'con- 
fai^iup^g a waxefa figure of the in&nt Jesus. WheR 
me reached the c<Hnmunity'OroQm we took our pla- 

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ces in rows, and kneeled upon the floor, while a mm 
read aloud, *» Douleurs de n6tre Sainte Marie," (the 
sorrows of our holy Mary.) At the end of each 
Terse we responded "Ave Maria." We then re- 
peated again the litanies of the Proridences, and tbt 

"Benis, &c. 
Then we kissed the floor, and rising, took our 
work, with leave to converse on permitted subjects ; 
this is what is called recreation till one o'clock. 
We then began to repeat litanies, one at a time in 
succession, still engaged at sewing, for an hour. 

At two o'clock commenced the afternoon lectures, 
which lasted till near three. At that hour one oi 
the nuns stood up in the middle of the room, and 
asked each of us a question out of the catechism; 
and such as were unable to answer correctly, were 
obliged to kneel down, until that exercise was con- 
cluded, upon as many dry peas as there were ver- 
ses in the chapter out of which they were qu^ 
tioned. This seems like a penance of no great im- 
portance; but I have sometimes kneeled on peas 
until I sufiered great inconvenience, and even pain. 
It soon makes one feel as if needles were running 
through the skin: whoever thinks it a trifle, had 
better try it. • '* 

At four o'clock recreation commenced, when we 
were allowed, as usual, to speak to each other, while 
at work. 

At half-past four we began to repeat prayers in 
Latin, while we worked, and concluded about five 
o^clock, when we commenced repeating the "prayers 

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|l^ the ^xmni^tion of coDsdence/^ the *' prayer after 
confession," the "prayer before sacrament," and the 
t* prayer after sacrament." Thus we conttoued out 
work until darjc, when we laid it aside, and began 
to go over the same prayers which we had repeated 
in the morning, with the exception of the. orison 
mental ; instead of that long exercise, we examined 
our consciences, to determine whether we had per- 
formed the resolution we had Jiiade in the morning ; 
and such as had kept it, repeated an " acte de joie," 
or expression of gratitude ; while such as had not, 
said an " acte de contrition," 

When the prayers were concluded, any nun who 
had been disobedient in the day, knelt and asked 
pardon of ihe Superior and her companions "for the 
scandal she had caused them ;" and then requested 
the Sii^perior to give - her a penance to perform* 
When all the penances had been ifl^posed, we all 
jwrooeeded to the eating-room to supper, repeating 
litanies on the way. 

At supper the ceremonies were the same as at 
dinner, except that there was no lecture read. Wh 
ate in silence, and went out bowing to the chapcllei 
and repeating litanies. Returning to the commu- 
nity-room which we had left, we had more prayera 
to repeat, which are called La couronrae, (crown4 
which consists of the following parts : 

1st, Four Paters, 

2d, Four Ave Marias, - 

3d, Four Gloria Patris, 

4lh, Benis, &c. 

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At the dose of these we kissed the floor ; after 
which we had recreation till half-past eight o^cIock, 
being allowed to converse on permitted subjects, but 
closely watched, and not allowed to sit in comers. 

At half-past eight a bell was rung, and a chapter 
was read to us, in a book of meditations, to employ 
4fUT minds upon during our waking hours at night 

Standing near the door, we dipped our fingers in 
the holy water, crossed and blessed ourselves, and 
'proceeded up to the sleeping-room, in the usual 
order, two by twa When we had got into bed, we 
repeated a prayer beginning with 

** Mon Dieu, je vous donne mon ccbut," 
•• My God, I give you my heart ;" 
and then an old nan, bringing some holy water, 
«prinkled it on our beds to drive away the devil, 
while we took some and crossed ourselves again. 

At nine o'clock the bell rung, and all who were 
^wake repeated a prayer, called the offrande ; those 
who were asleep, were considered as excused. 

After my admission among the nuns, I had more 
opportunity than before, to observe the conduct of 
mad Jane Ray. She behaved quite differently from 
the rest, and with a degree of levity irreconcilable 
with the rules. She was, as I have described her, 
a large woman, with nothing beautiful or attractive 
in her face, form, or manners; careless in her dress, 
and of a restless disposition, which prevented her 
from steadily appljring herself to any thing for any 
length of time, and kept her roving about, and al- 
most perpetually talking to somebody or other. J$ 

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BLACK HtfirsriftT. 6t 

would be rery difficult to give an accurate descrip- 
tion of this singular woman ; dressed in the plain 
garments of the nun^, bound by tbe same tows, and 
accu8t(»ned to the same life, resembling them in 
noting dbe^ <tf^d irequaitly interrupting all their 
Om|>Ioyments. She was apparently almost always 
studying or pursuing some odd fancy ; now rising 
^m sewing, to walk up and down, or i^raying in 
from anodier apartment, Jooking about, addressing 
some of us, and passing out again, or saying some- 
thing to make us latighj in period of the moi^ pro- 
feund sHence. But wiiat ehowed thi^ she was no 
novelty, was the Httle f^ention paid lo her, and the 
levity wi€h whrch she was treated by the old nuns ; 
even the Superior every day passed over irregidax- 
Ities in ^is singular peMon, which she wouM have 
punished with peimnces, or at hoist have met with 
reprimands, in any oCh^. Pr^ittwhat I saw of her, 
I soon perceived that slw betrayed two distinct tiuks 
of cimraeter; a kind disposilicHi towards such as she 
chose to pt^&r, and a pleeiMire in teasing those she 
disUke^ or such as had ofbaded her. 

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DeaeripHon qf ApartnunU in ffu Blade iVsunery, in onfen-*- 
Ut F^oof'-^ Floor— Tkt Founder^i^uperior^s Managp' 
mcni with tfu Friends q/" Novices — Religious lAes — Crimi- 
naliiy qf concealing Sins at Confession. 

I WILL Qow give £rom memory, a general de- 
flcjription of the interior of the Ocmyent of Black 
umiB, except the few apartments which i aever saw. 
I may be inaccurate m some things, as the apart- 
ments and passages of that spacious building are 
numerous and various ; but I am willing to risk my 
ensdit fer truth and sincerity on the general corres- 
pondence, betweai my description and things as they 
are. And this would, perhaps, be as good a case 
mn any by which Jto test the tnith of my statements, 
were it possible to obtain access to the interior. It 
*is well known, that none but veiled nuns, the bishop, 
and priests, are ever admitted; and, of course, that I 
cannot have seen what I profess to describe, i£ I 
have not been a Black nun.* The priests who 
read this book, will acknowledge to themselves the 
truth of my description ; but will, of course, deny it to 
the world, and probably exert themselves to destroy 
my credit. I offer to every reader the following 

* I ought to have made an excq;>tion here, which I may en- 
large upon in ftiture. Certain other persons are sometimes ad* 

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Bi.Aex jrewirxmT* it 

(tefteriptiOB, knowing tlu^ tine no^ pomUy IkrovR 
open diose s^ieret recesses, and allow the entnuie# 
of those who ean satisfy themselves, with theif own 
eyes, of its truth. Some of my declarations may 
bethonght^efieient in evidence ; and this they must 
of necessity be in the pres^it state of things. But 
here is a kind of evidence on which I rely, as I 
see how unquestionable and satisfactory it must 
prove, whenever it shall be obtained. 

If the interior of the Black Nunnery, wh^aever 
it shall be examined, is sralefially d^erent firpm the 
Mkwing desciription, then I can claim no confidence 
of my readers^ If it resembles it, they will, I pre- 
stime, place confidence in some of those declara- 
tions, on which I may never be corroborated by tm» 
and living witeiesses. 

I am sensible that great changes may be made in 
ftie furniture of apartments ; that new wails nmy be 
constructed, or old ones removed ; and I have been 
credibly informed, that masons have been «uployed 
m the nunnery since I left^it I well know, how- 
ever, tiiat eoitire changes cannot be made \ and that 
enough must remain as it was to substuitiate my 
descf^idn, whenever the truth shall be knowiL- 

The First Story. 

Beginning at the extremity of the right wing 
of the Convent^ towards Notre Dame-street, on the 
first story, there is — ^ 

1st The nu»e' private chapel, adjoining which 
itapjftssage to a small pcojecticm of the biuUo^, 

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M U.ACK N«flMS&Y. 

Mttfndiiif ftom tlie xxpipa atory to the gro<iii4 ^^i^ 
very small wmdows. Into the pumgo we were 
tomedmes requiied to ^ing wood frcm ^ yer4, 
«ad pile k vp fer uoa 

2d. A large commuBily-room, wkh jdaia henchee 
foed agamat the Wall to sk, and lower o»ea m firom 
to place oar feet upon. There is a Ibimtain in the 
pifflsage near ^e chimney at the &cther end. foi 
washing the hands aiad face, wkh a green curtaui 
didiag cm a rod before k. This passage lead$ to 
the old niuns' sieqiing<«oom on the right aiul U)# 
Snperior's sleeping-ioma, just bejrond it, as well af 
to a staircase which conchicts to die nuns' sleep^ig* 
roonif or dortoir, above. At die end of the paa- 
sage is a door opening into**— 

3d. The dining-room; this » larger than tjbe 
eommunityHroom, asd liaslhree kmg JtaUes for eat- 
ing, wad a chicle, or coUecdoa of little pustureib 
m crucifix, and a small image of the in&nt Saviaur 
in a g^ass case. This apavtment has tonx dppits, by 
the first of whi^ we ane si^posed to have eiit^Q(i 
'vririle one opens to a pantry; aod the third andibnrtb 
to the two next apartments. 

4th. A krge oommuai^-rocHoa* with tables fiir 
sewing, and a staircase on the opposite left-hand 

dth. A community-room for prayer, \m^ by bodi 
sane and novices. In the fiurther right-hand conw 
is a small room partitioned ofi| called die room bft 
the exaaanatioa of conscience* which I had yiated 
^i^iile a novice by petmssipii. of the Sup^^r, imd 

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wkere nuns and novices occaskmally resorted to re- 
flect on their character, usually in preparation for 
tile sacrament, or when they had transgressed 8<m» 
of tile rules. Thir Iktle room was hardly large 
enough to contain half a dozen persons at a time. 

6th. Next heyond is a large community-room for 
Sunda5rs. A door leads to the yard, and th^ce to 
a gate in the wall on the crosd street 

7th. Adjoining tills is a sitting-room, fhmting on 
the cross street, with two windows, and a storeroom 
on the side opposite them. There is hut little fur- 
niture, and that very pliun. 

8th. From this room a door leads into what I 
may call the wax-room, as it contains many figures 
in wax, not intended for sale. There we some- 
times used to pray, or meditate on the Saviour's 
passion. This room projects from the main huild- 
ing ; leaving it, you enter a long passage, with cup- 
boards on the right, in which are stored crockery- 
ware, knives and forks, and other articles of table 
finmiture, to replace those worn out or broken — all 
oi the plainest description ; also, shovels, tongr, dbc. 
This passage leads to— 

9th. A comer room, with a few benches, Ase. 
and a door leading to a gate on the street. Here 
some of the medicines were kept, and persons were 
often admitted on business, or to obtain medicines 
with tickets from the priests ; and waited till the 
Superior or an old nun could be sent for. Beyond thk 
room we were never allowed to go ; and I cannot 
speak from personal knowledge of what came next. 

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Tke Sicpnd Story, 
Beg^mogt 9B before, at the western extremity of 
ibesame wing, but on the second story, the fiur^ept 
apartnaent in tbat direction wbkh I ever ei^^^ 

ist The. nuns' sleeping-room, or dormitory, which 
I have already described. Here is an access to the 
projection mentioned in speaking of the first stoiy 
The stairs by which we came up to bed are at the 
.&rther end of the room ; and near them a crucifix 
and fimt of holy water. A door at the end of the 
room opens into a passes ^th two small rooms, 
and clooets between them, containing bedclothes. 
Next you enter — 

2d. A small community-room, beyond which is a 
passage with a narrow staircase, seldom used* whi<^ 
leads into the ^urth conununity-ioom, in the first 
story. Following^ the passage just mentioned, you 
enter by a door — 

3d. A little sitting-room, furnished in the follow- 
ing manner : with chairs, a so&, on the north side, 
covered with a red-figured cover and fringe, a table 
in the middle, commonly bearing one or two books, 
an inkstand; pens. &c. At one comer is a little 
INtojection into the room, caused by a staircase lead- 
ing from above to the floor below, without any amr 
munication with the second story. This room has 
a door opening upon a staircase leading down to 
the yard, on the opposite side of which is a gale 
opening into the cross street By this way the phy- 
sician is admitted, except when he comes la^er than 

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.mmaJL When h^ i^ome^ in» he usually sits .a little 
.while, until a nun goes into the adjoining nuns' 
sick-Toooiy to see if all is ready, and returns to ad- 
mit him. A^r prescril^ing &r.the patients he goes 
no %theiCi hut return? by the way he enters; and 
these two are the only rotnns into wh^^h he is evc^ 
admitted, except the public hospital. 

ith. The nuns' sick-room adjoins the little sitting- 
room on the east, and has, I think, four windows 
toward? the north, with li^ds ranged in two rows 
j&om end to end, and a few more b^ween them, near 
the opposite extremity. The door from the sitting- 
j^oom swings to the left, and behind it is a table, 
whil^. a glafis^ case, to the right, contains a wax 
figure of the in&nt Saviour, with several sheep. 
Neai the northeastern comer of this room are two 
4oors, one of which opens into a long and narrow 
paKSfdge leading to the head of the great staircase 
that opndi|cts to the cross stre^ By this passa^ 
the physician, sometimes finds his way to the sic]^- 
room, when he comes later than usual. He rings 
the bell at the gate, which I was told had a conceal- 
ed pull, known only to him and the priests, proceeds 
upstairs find through the passage, rapping three 
times at the dpor of the 3ick-room> which is opened 
by a nun in attendance, after she has given oxie 
lap in i^y. When he has visited his ];^ients, 
and prescribed lor theilEi, he returns by th^ saxne 

5th. Next beyond this sick-roojpa, is a large ^^' 
.^^QOX^od apai^9»ej^t, half d^yide4 by two.parti(vl puf- 

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titions, which leave an open space in the middle. 
Here some of the old nmis commonly sit in the 

6th. A door from this apartment opens into an- 
other, not appropriated to any particular use, hot 
containing a table, where medicines are sometimes 
prepared by an old nun, who is usually found there. 
Passing through this room, you enter a passage, 
with doors on its four sides : that on the left, which 
is kept &stened on the inside, leads to the staircase 
and gate^ that in front, to private sidcorooms, soon 
to be described. 

7th. That on the right leads to another, approfdi- 
ated to nuns sufiering with the most loathsome xii$- 
ease. There were usually a number of straw mat- 
tresses in that room, as I well knew, having helped 
to carry them in affcer the yard-man had filled them. 
A door beyond enters into a storeroom, whidi 
extends also beyond this apartment. On. the r^ht, 
another door opens into another passage, crossitig 
which, you enter by a door — 

8th. A room with a bed and screen in one comer, 
on which nuns were laid to be examined before 
their^ introduction into the sick-room last mentioned. 
Another door, opposite the former, opens into a pas- 
sage, in which is a staircase leading down. 

9th. Beyond this is a spare-room, som^imes used 
to store apples, boxes of difierent things, &c, 

10th. Returning now to the passage which opens 
on one side upon the stairs to the gate, we enter 
the only vemaining door, which leads into an apart- 
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n^^ tisiiftUy oceupi^ by some of the old nuns, wtd. 
6^<^iHUiy l^ the Sv^rior. 

Utb, %nd 12th. Beyond this are two more siclc- 
voomff^ in out of which those nuns stay who are 
waiting their accouchement, and in the other, those 
who have parsed it 

13di. The ne:Kt is a small sitting-room, where a 
priest waits to baptize the infants previous to their 
murder. A passage leads from this room, on the 
Icit, by th^ doora of two succeeding apartments, 
Bditber of ivhich have I ever entered. 

Ulh. The £rst of them is the ''holy retreat," or 
room occu]»ed by the priests, while sufiering the 
peialty of their licentioosQesai 

l^ The othy^ is a skting-room, to which they 
^ye access. Beyond these the passage leads to 
two rooms, containing closets for the storage of 
various articles, and two others where persons are 
Deceived who come on business. 

7he public hospitals succeed, and extend a con* 
siderable distance, I brieve, to the extremity of the 
budding. By a public entrance in that part, priests 
c6m come into the nunneiy ; and I have often seen 
fome of them thereabouts, who must have entered 
by that way. Indeed, priests often get into th^ " holy 
letreat" without exposing themselves to the view of 
pc^rsons in other parts of the Convent, and have been 
first known to be there, by the yard-man being sent 
to the Seminary for their clothes. 

The Congn^gfational Nunnery was founded by a 
nun called Sister Bourj^epis^. She taught a schoo} 

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70 BLACK NtTNNfiRir. 

in Montreal, and left property for the foundstton t>t 
a Convent. Her body is buried, and her heart iiT 
kept, under the nunnery, in an iron chest, which 
has been shown to me, with the assurtince that it 
continues in perfect preservation, although she hat 
been dead more than one himdred and fifty years. 
In thd chapel is the following inscription : " Seeur 
Bourgeoise, Fondatrice du Convent" — SiMer Bour- 
geoise. Founder of the Convent 

Nothing was more common than for the Superior 
to step hastily into our community-rooms, while 
numbers of us were assembled there, and hastily 
omimunicate her wishes in words like th^se: — 

** Here are the parents of such a novice : (»yme 
with me, and bear me out in Hiis story." She would 
then mention the outlines of a tissue of fidsehoods, 
she had just invented, that we might be prepared to 
fiibricate circumstances, and throw in whatever else 
might favour the deception. This was justified, and 
indeed most highly commended, by the system of 
feith in which we were instructed. 

It was a common remark made at the initiation 
of a new nun into the Black nun department, that 
is, to receive the black veil, that the introduction « 
another novice into the Convent as a veiled nui^ 
caused the introduction of a veiled nun into heaven 
as a saint, which was oh account of the singular dia> 
appearance of some of the older nuns at the entrance 
of new ones I 

To witness the scenes which often occurred be- 
tween us and strangers, would havie struck a person 

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.T«ry pQwerfiilly, if he iiad kuown hpw trutlt wqsflt. set 
at naught The Superior, with a aeriouff and dig- 
nified, air, and a pleasant voice and aspect, would 
commence a recital of things most &yourahle to the 
duuracter of the absent novice, aud representing her 
as equally fond of her situation, and beloved by the 
other inmates. The tale told by the Superior,^what- 
ever it was, however unheard before might have 
been any of her statements, was then attested by us, 
who, in every way we xiould think o^ endeavoured 
to confirm her declarations, beyond the reach of 

Sometimes the Superior would intrust the ma|i- 
agement 0/ such a case to some of the nuns, 
whether to habituate us to the practice in which she 
was so highly accomplished, or to relieve herself of 
what would have been a serious burden to most 
other persons, or to ascertain wh^her she could de- 
pend upon us, or all together, I cannot tell. Often, 
however, have I seen her throw open a door, and, 
iwy, in a hiurried manner, " Who can tell the best 
jrtory ?" 

One point, on whi(^h we received frequent ai^ 
particular instructions was, the nature of false- 
hoods. On this subject I have heard many a 
speech, I had almost said many a Sermon ; and I 
was led to believe that it was one of great importance^ 
one on which it was a duty to be well informed, as 
well as to act "What!" exclaimed a priest one 
day — " what, a nun of your age, and not know Uie 
di^rence between a wicked and a religious lie !" 

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BXiikOK HVUNllliy. 

tfe^then went on, as had b«en done many tim^ 
previously in my iiearing, to show the essendal dif- 
ferience between the two difierent kinds of iklse- 
hoods. A lie told merely for the injury of another*, 
Ibr our own interest alone, or for no object at all, he 
painted as a sin worthy of penance. But a lie told 
for the good of the church or Convent, .was merit- 
orious, and of course the telling of it a duty. And 
6f this class of lies there were many varieties and 
shades. This doctrine has been iliculcated on me 
and nfiy companions in the nunnery, more timids 
thun I can enumerate ; and to say that it was gener- 
ally received, would be to tell a part of the truth. 
We often saw the practice of it, and were frequently 
made to take part in it. Whenever any thing which 
^e Superior thought important, could be most con- 
veniently accomplish^ hy fiJsehood, she resorted to 
it without scruple. 

There was a class of cases in which she mom 
frequently relied on deception than any other. 

The friends of novices frequently applied at the 
Convent to see them, or at least to inquire after their 
welfare. It was common for them to be politely re- 
fused an interview, on some account or other, gener- 
'ally a mere pretext ; and then the Superior usually 
Bought to make as &vourable an impression as pos- 
sible on the visiters. Sometimes she would make 
up a story on the spot, and tell the strangers ; re- 
quiring some of us to confirm it, in the most con- 
vincing way we could. 

At other times she would preffer to make over to 

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U8 the tasl^ ot* deceiving, and we were commended 
in proportion to our ingenuity and success. 

Some nun usually showed her suhmission, by im- 
mediately stepping forward. She would then add, 
perhaps, that the parents of such a novice, whom 
she named, were in waiting, and it was necessary 
that they should be told $uch, and such, and such 
things. To perform so difHcult a task well, was 
considered a difficult duty, and it was one of the 
most certain ways to gain the favour of the Su- 
perior. Whoever volunteered to make a story on 
the spot, was sent immediately to tell it, and the 
other nuns present were hurried off with her under 
strict injunctions to uphold her in every thing she 
might state. The Superior, as there was every 
reason to Wieve, on all such occasions, when she 
did not herself appear^ hastened to the apartment 
adjoining that in which the nuns were going, there 
to listen through the thin partition, to hear whether 
all performed their parts aright. It was notinncom- 
mon for her to go rather further, when slfe wanted 
^me to give such explanations as she could have de- 
sired. She would then enter abruptly, ask, * Who 
can tell a good story this morning?" and hurry us 
off vnthout a moment's delay, to do our best at a 
venture, without waiting for instructions. It would 
be curious, could a stranger from " the wicked 
jjvorld** outside the Convent witness such a scene. 
One efflie nuns, who felt in a fiivouraMe humour 
&o undffftsOcethe proposed task, would step promptly 
ffifepward, and signify her readiness in the usual way: 
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by a knowing wink of one eye/and a sUghi toss of 
the head. 

" Well, go and do the besf you can " the Superior 
would say; *' and ail the rest of you must mind and 
swear to it.'* The latter part of the order, at least, 
was always performed ; for in every such case, all 
the nuns present appeared as unanimous witnesses 
of every thing that was uttered by the spokesman 
of the day. 

We were constantly hearing it repeated, that we 
must never again look upon ourselves as our own ; 
but must remember, that we were solemnly and ir- 
revocably devoted to God, Whatever was required 
of us, we were called upon to yield under the most so- 
lemn considerations. I cannot speak on every par- 
ticular with equal freedom ; but I wish my readers 
clearly to understand the condition in which we 
were placed, and the means used to reduce us to 
what we had to submit to. Not only were we re- 
qufredTto perform the several tasks imposed upon us 
*8it woi9c,iH:ayers, and penances, under the idea that 
we w^re performing solemn duties to our Maker, 
but every thing else which was required of us, wa 
were constantly told, was something indispensable 
in his sight. The priests, we admitted, were the 
servants of God, specially appointed by his ac|tiority, 
to teach us our duty, to absolve us from sin, and to 
lead us to heaven. Without their assist9;nce, ws 
had allowed we could never enjoy the favour of 
God ; unless they administered the sacramerife to^, 
we could not enjoy everlasting happiness, - Having 

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consented to acknowledge all this, we had no ob: 
jection to urge against admitting any other demand 
Ihat might be nmde for or by them. If we thought 
^xt act ever so criminal, the Superior would tell U9 
tliat the priests acted under the direct sanction of 
God, and could not sin. Of course, then, it could 
not be wrong to comj^y with any of their requests, 
because they could not demand any thing but what 
was right On the contrary, to refuse to do any 
thing they askedj would necessarily be sinful. Such 
doctrines admitted, and such practices perform- 
ed^ it will not seem wonderful when I mention 
tjm we often felt something of their preposterous 

Sometimes we took pleasure in ridiculing some ot 
the £iyourite themes of our teachers ; and I recK>l- 
Icct cme subject paiticularly, which at one period 
larded ua repeatedmerriment. It may seem irrev* 
ejcient in me to give the account, but I do it t<f show 
bow tbinga of a solemn nature were sometimes 
tiieated in the Convent, by women bearing the title 
«€ saints. A Canadian Novice, who spoke very 
bEokett English* one day remarked that she was 
performing some duty •* for the God." This pecu- 
liar expression had somethkig ridiculous to the ears 
of some of us; and it was soon repeated again and 
again, in application to various cerononies which 
we had to pei&rm. Mad Jane Ray seized tipon k 
with avidity^ and with her aid it soon took the^aoe 
of a by^word in conversation, so that we welHtfa- 
Atamiy ^remindkig each o^n thstn^wem ^oing %: 


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76 BLACK MVNKSRY. .. ._ 'V 

this and that thing, how tdfHng and unmeamng 
soeTer, "for the God." Nor did we stop here; 
when the Superior called upon us to hear witness to 
one of her religious lies, or to £ihrieate the inottt 
spurious one the time would admit ; to save her 
^e trouhle, we were sure to be reminded, on our 
way to the stranger's room, that we were doing k 
"for the God." And so it was when other things 
were mentioned — every thing which belonged to 
our condition, was spoken of in similar terms. 

I have hardly detained the reader long enotl^ 
on the subject, to give him a just impression of the 
tftress laid on confession. It is one of the great 
points to which our attention was constantly diree^ 
ed. We were directed to keep a strict and constant 
wi^h over our thoughts ; to have continually be- 
Sore our minds the rules of the Convimt, to compare 
the one with the other, remember every devc^os, 
and tKl all, even the smallest, at confession, either 
16 the Superior, or to the priest. My mind was thus 
kept in a ccmtmual state of activity, whidi provad 
very wearisome ; and it required the constant exes- 
tion of our teachers, to keep us up to the practice 
^ they inculcated. 

Another tale recurs to me, of ^ose whkh were 
frequently told us to make us feel the importance €i 
imreserved confession. 

A nun of our Convent, who had hidden some sin 
from her confessor, (fied suddenly, and without 
any* one to confess her. Her sisters ass^nbled to 
t^ pray for the peace of her soul^ when she i^peared^ 

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MsA^ yioiifjWT. :77 

md mfomted tham, that it would bo oC no^iie, but 
z«lher iroubl«8eiiteto ber^ as her pardon was impos- 
sible.* The doetnae is, that prayexw made for souls 
guilty of unconfeased siu, do but sink them deep« 
in heU; and this is the reiison I have heard given 
for not praying for Prc^estants. 

The authority of the priests in every thing, and 
the enormity of every act iw^iich opposes it, were 
also impressed upon our minds, in various ways, by 
our teachers. A *' Father'^ told us the following 
story one day at catechism. 

A man once died who had &iled to pay nomt 
money which the priest had asiced of him ; he was 
condemned to be burnt in purgatory until he should 
pay it, but had permission to come back to this 
world, and take a hmnan body to work in. He 
made his appearance therefore again on earth, and 
hired himself to a rich man as a labourer. He 
worked all day with the fire burning in him, un- 
seen by other people ; but while he was in bed that 
night, a girl in an adjoining room, perceiving the 
smell of brimstone, looked through a crack in the 
wall, and saw him covered with flames. She in- 
formed his master, who questioned him the next 
morning, and found that his hired man was secretly 
suffering the pains of purgatory, for neglecting to 
pay a certain sum of money to the pnest. He, 

* Since the ftret edition, I have found this tale related in a 
Romish book, as one of veiy anoent date. It was totd to us as 
having taken plaot u oat Gonvvnt. 

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79 BXiiM^ Mvihfnnr. 

"Aertixri^ famkiied kum tiieamoiiiit doe, k 
paid, aad ^ tervant went off immediately to hemw- 
en. The priest cannot forgive any debt due unto 
Mm, because it is the Lord^s estate. 

While at confession, I was urged to hi^ nothing 
from the priest, and have been told by them, that 
they already knew what was in my heart, but would 
not tell, because it was necessary for me to confess it 
I really believed that the priests were acquainted 
wkh roiy thoughts ; and often stood in great awe of 
them. They often told me they bad power to strike 
ne dead at any momei^ 

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Nun§ iDiih Hmilmr noma*— £^at0 iVtm#^/%rj< vUU to ffi$ 

rior^s JhMrwtHon^-'PrvDaie Signal of Ou Prltat^r-BwHf 
used in the Nunnery— Opinions expressed qfthe Bibls-'Spe- 
cimens of what 1 know of^ Seripiufes. 

I tovKft that I had several namcoaket amoiif the 
tiQ&i, f&i there iRi«ze two others w1h> already b(»e 
My new name, Saint Eustace. This was not a 
•eatery case, for there were five Saint Marys, and 
three Saint Monros, besides two novices of that 
name. Of my namesakes I have little to say, for 
they resembled most of thtf nuns ; bdng so much cat 
cff from intercourse with me and the oth^ sist^n, 
that I never saw any thing in them, nor learnt any 
thing about them, worth mentioning. 

Several of my new companions were squaws, 
who had taken the veil at di£brent times. They 
were from some <tf the Indian se^ements in the 
countiy, but were not 4ii^guishable by any strik- 
ing habits of character from other nuns, and were 
genendly net very difierait in their appeaocttnce 
when in their usual dress, and engaged in thdr c«8. 
tomary oeeupatioas. It was evidaxt, that they were 
tsei^ed with much kindness and leaity by the Su- 
perior and the old nuns; and this I discovered was 
done in order to remfer them as wdl contented and 
^mpff itt^hehr sitiwtidii as possible. I ^ouU 

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have attributed the motives for this ^ partiality to 
their virishisg tha( they might not influence others 
to keep away, had I not known they were, like our- 
selves, unable to exert such an influence. And 
therefore, I could not satisfy my own mind why this 
difl^renee was made. Many of the Indians were 
remarkably devoted to the priests, believitig every 
thing they were taught ; and as it is represented to 
be not only a high honour, but a real advantage to 
•m fasaily, to haye one of its membera beeome a nun, 
Indian parents will often pay large sums of money 
for the admission of their daughters into a convoait 
The fether oi one of the squaws, I wns told, paid to 
the Superior nearly her weight in silver on her re- 
ception, although he was obliged to sell nearly all 
his property to raise the money. This he did vol- 
untarily, because he thought hijnself overpaid by 
having the advantage of her prayers, self-sacrifices, 
&c. for himself and the Denaindw of his family. 
The squaws sometimes served to amuse us; for 
when we were partially inspirited or gloomy, the 
Superior would oecasionatly send them to dress 
themselves in thdr Indian ganuents, which usually 
excited us to merriment. 

Among the squaw nuns whom I particularly re- 
member, was one d* the Sainte Hypolites, not the 
jone who figured in a dreadful scene, ^iescribed in 
another part of this naxrative,^ but a woman of a &r 
more mild and humane character. 

Three or four days after tny reception, the Sa- 
perior stnt me inter the eeUar for £<ml ; aada^sha 

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kbA gbren me directions, I proceeded down t^ lUtin 
el&se, with a lamp in my hand. I soon fmnd my. 
self upon the bare earth, m a i^cious place, so dark, 
that I could not at onee distinguish its form, or 
stze^ hut I obsenred that it had TOry solid stone 
walls^ and was arched orerhead, at no great ole*ra« 
tk)n. Following my directions, I proceeded on- 
ward from the foot of the stairs, where a]q)eared 
to be one end of the cellar. After walkmg about 
Mfteen paces, I passed three small doors, on the 
r^ht, ftstt^sed with large iron boks on the outside, 
pushed into posts of stone-work, and each having m 
IodA]! opening above, covered w^ a fine grating^ 
secur^ by a smaller bok. On my Idi, were thvse 
Similar doors, r^iembUng these, and placed opposite 

Beyond these, the space became broads f the 
doors evidently closed a^Eiall eonlpavtments, pror 
je<^ng from the outer wall of the cellar, I soon 
stepped upon a wooden ioor, on which were heaps 
of wool, coarse linen, and other articles, apparency 
deposit^ there for occasiMial use. I soon crossed 
the iloor, and feund the bare easrth agam under my 

A little &rther on, 1 feimd ^e c^lar agflin e^fo^ 
txaeted m sizor by a row of closes, or smalls com- 
partments prcject^g on each side. These were 
closed by doors of a different descri|^ition hem the 
first, having a simple ikstening, and no openkig 
throttg^ th^n. 

Just beyond, on the left side, I passed »i 

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l^adin^ ajr^and then three doors, much resonblsng 
those first described, standing opposite three more, 
(xpL the other side of the cellar^ Having passed 
there, I found the cellar again enlarged as before, 
and here the eeurth appeared ^s if mixed with some 
whitish substance, which attracted my attention. 

As I proceeded, I found the whiteness increase, 
ui^i the sur&ee looked almost like snow, and in 
a short time I observed before me, a hole dug so 
daep into the earth that I could perceive no bottom, 
I stopped to observe it.^ — It was circular, perhaps 
twelve or fifteen feet across ; in the middle of the 
cellar, and unprotected by any kind of curb, so that 
<me might easily have walked into it, in the dark. 

The white substance which I had observed, was 
spread all over the surface around it; and lay in 
such quantity on all sides, that it seemed as if a 
great deal of it must have been thrown into the 
hole. It immediately occurred to me that the white 
substance was lime, and that this must be the place 
where the in&nts w^e buned, a&er being murdered^ 
as the Superior Ittd informed me. I knew that lime 
is often used by Roman Catholics in buTying-|4aces ; 
and in this way I accounted for its being scattered 
idiout the spot in such quantities. 

This was a shocking thought tozne; but I canr 
^urdly tell how it affected mte, as I had already be^i 
]^epared to ^cpe<^ dreadful things in the Oonv^it» 
and had undergone trials which prevented me from 
feeling as I should formerly have done in wmlafr 

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I passed the spot, therefore, with ^Kfltfesmg 
thoughts, it is true, about the little corpses, which 
might be in that secret burying-pkce, but with recol- 
lections also of the declarations which I had heard, 
about the &vour done their souls by sending them 
straight to heaven, and the necessary virtue accom- 
panying all the actions of the priests. 

Whether I noticed them or not^ at the time, there 
is a window or two on each, nearly against the hole, 
in at which are sometimes thrown articles brought 
to them from without, for the use of the Convent. 
Through the window on my right, which opens into 
the yard, towards the cross street, lime is received 
from carts ; and I then saw a large heap of it near 
the place. 

Passing the hole, I came to a spot where was 
another projection on each side, with three cells like 
those I first described. Beyond them, in another 
broad pan of the cellar, were heaps of vegetables, 
and other things, on the right ; and on the left I found 
the charcoal I was in search of This was placed 
in a heap against the wall, as I might then have 
observed, near a small high window, like the rest, at 
which it is thrown in. Beyond this spot, at a short 
distance, the cellar terminated. 

The top quite to that point, is arched overhead, 
though at different heights, for the earth on the 
bottom is uneven, and in some places several feet 
higher than in others. 

Not liking to be alone in so spacious and gloomy 
a part of the Convent, especially after the discovery 

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84 ' ^^S^ HVHVKRY, 

I bgd viftde, I hastened to fiil my basket with coal, 
and to retafiL 

Here then I was, in a place which I had consid- 
ered as the nearest imitation of heaven to be found 
on earth, among a society where deeds were con- 
stantly perpetrated, which I had believed to be most 
criminal, and I had now found the place in which 
harmless infants were unfeelingly thrown out of 
sight, after being murdered. 

And yet, such is the power of instruction and 
example, although not satisfied, as many around me 
seemed to be, that this was all righteous and proper, 
I sometimes was half. incUned to believe k, for the 
priests could do no sin, and this was done by priests. 

Among the first instructions I received from the 
Si^rior, were such as prepared me to admit priests 
into the nunnery from the street at irregular hours. 
It is no secret, that priests enter and go out ; but if 
they were to be watched by any person in St. PauPs- 
street all day long^ no irregularity might be sus- 
pected; and they might be supposed to visit the 
Convent for the performance of religious ceremonies 

But if a person were near the gate about midnight, 
he might sometimes form a dificrent opinion; for 
when a stray priest is shut out of the Seminary, or 
is otherwise put in the need of seeking a lodging, 
he is always sure of being admitted into the black • 
nunnery. Nobody but a priest or the physician can 
ring the bell at the sick-room door ; much less can 
any others gain admittance. The pull of the bell is 

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wtoreiy coii»ftled, somewhere on tbe outside of Ab 
gBle, I liave been told 

He makes hunfelf known as a priest by a peca-* 
liar kind of hissing sound, made by the tongue 
against the teeth, while they are kept closed, and the 
Kps open. The nun within, who delays to op«9 the 
door, until informed what kind of an applicant iff 
there, immediately recognises the sigiml, and replies 
with two inarticulate sounds, such as are often used 
instead of yes, with the mot^h closed. 

The Superior seemed to consider &is pert of my 
ms^uctions quite importfoit, and taught me Uie sig* 
nob. I had c^en occasion to use them ; I have 
been r^[)eatedly called to tfat door, in the night, 
while watching i& the sick-Toom ; and on reaching 
it, heard the short hissing sound I have mentlened, 
then according to my standing ord^s, unfiuitening 
the door, admitted a pifiest, who was at 19[>erly to go 
w^re he pleased. I will name Mr. Bierze from 
St. Denis. 

The books used in the nunnery, at least such as 
I reeoUe(^ of them, were the ifoUowing. Most of 
Uiese are lecture books,^or such a»are used by the 
daily feeders, while we were at work, and meals. 
These were all furnished by the Superior, out of her 
library, to which we never had access. She was in- 
formed wh^i we had done with one book, and then 
exchanged it for such another as she pleased to 

Le Miroir du Chr^ien, (Christian Mirror,) His- 
tory of Rome, History of the Church. life of Soeur 

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Bourgeoiae, (the fouAcfer of tbe CoBTeot,) in two 
volumes, L'Ange Conducteur, (the Guardian An- 
geJ,) L'Ange ChrltieD, (the Christian Angel,) lies 
Vies des Saints, (Lives of Saints,) in several volumes. 
Dialogues, a volume consisting of conversations be- 
tween a Protestant Doctor^ called Dr. D. and a 
Catholic gentleman, on the articles of &ith, in 
which, after much ingenious reasoning, the former 
was confuted. One large hook, the name of which 
I have forgotten, occupied us nine or ten months at 
our leetures, night and morning. U Instruction de la 
Jeunesse, (the Instruction of Youth,) containing 
much about Convents, and the education of persons 
in the woirid, with a great deal on confesaons, &c. 
Examen de la Conscience, (Examination of Con^ 
aience,) is a book frequently used. 

I may h^e remark, that I never saw a Bible in 
the Convent from the day I entered as a novice, nn- 
til that on which I effected my escape. The Ca* 
tholic New Testament, conmwnly called the Evan- 
gile, was read to us aboutthree or four times a year. 
The Superior directed the reader what passage ta 
select; but we never had it in our hands to read 
when we pleased. I often heard the Protestant 
Bible spoken of in bitter terms, as a most dangerous 
book, and one which never ought to be in the hands 
of common pe(^le 

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3hm{faeture qf Brtad^ and Wax Candles^ carried anintfu 
Onvvent'-Super9Htion9--/Seapularie9^Virgin Mary's pin- 
eiuhion—Ber Hmme^ 7R« makaj^s power awrjo't^Mg h^ 
HrucHons to. Noviets—Jaiu Ray—VacmaUon qf feelings. 

Li^BOE quantitiee of bre&d are made in tbe Black 
Nomieiy every week, for besides what is necessary 
to feed the nuns/ many of the poor are snpplied. 
When a priest wishes to g^ve a loaf of bread to a 
poor person, he gives him' an wrder, ^^vliich is pre- 
sented at the Convent. The making of l»read is 
fterefore one of the most laborious employments in 
the Institution. 

' The manuiacture of wa^ candles was another kn- 
pditant branch of business in the nunnery. It was 
carr^ on in a small room, on the first fioor, thosee 
called die Cifcrgerie, or wax-rdom; ci^ge bemg the 
French w&rd for a wax canihi I was sometimes 
sent to read the daily lecture and catechism to the 
Buns^mployed there, but ^und k a Tery unpleasant 
task, as the smell rising from the melted wax gave 
me a sickness at the stomach. The employment 
was considered rather unhealthy, and those we<^ 
assigned to it, whiy had the strongest eonstitntioiMi, 
The nuns who were more commonly emplojrcd in 
that room, were Sainte- Afeiria, Sahite OathArkm, 
Saime Charbtte, Saint Francis, Samte Hyaciflfhe, 
Saint Hyp(^ei and others; But with tkese^ as with 

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other persons in the Convent, I was never allowed 
to speak, except under circumstances before men- 
tioned I was sent to read, and was not' allowed 
even to answer the most trivial questioQ, if one w^re 
asked me. Should a nun say, "what o'clock is it?" 
I never should have dazed to reply, but was re- 
quired to Teport her to the Superior. 

Much stress was laid on the sainte seapulairef 
or holy scapulary. This is a small band of plpth 
qt siUc, formed and wrought in a particular man* 
oer, to be tied around the neek, by two stiangs, &st* 
ened to the ends. I have made many of them, 
having be^i sometimes set to niake them in the Con* 
vent. Onone side is worked a kind of double eroai^ 
(thus, XX). and on the other I. H. 8. the meamng 
of which I do not exactly know. Such & ba]id e 
called a scapulary, and many miraclcp are ^tnbnted 
to its power, . Children cm Srst rec^ving Ihe jcom* 
municm ar^ often presented with scapularies, whioh 
ti^y are^anght to regard with great reverei^c^ We 
were told of the wonders effected by their means, 
in the addresses made to us, by priesta at cateohiiiQi 
or lecturea. I will repeat one or two of the stcHdee 
which occur to me. 

A Bc^naa Cadiolic servant woman, who had coft* 
cealed some of her sins at conie86i(»i« actecl so hy« 
ppcxitieal a part as to make her mii^esiiielievefaet 
a devoiCr oi a^strict observer of h^ di^^ She eveai 
in^fkosed iq;>on her ccmfeeapr, toeoeh a degree, that he 
gaveherasc^^ukry. After he had given it, howeiWi 
ooe ef thaai^ts 4n heaven initoBed him in n viuim. 

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^mt U^ hely seapulcury must not remain on the 
neck of so great a sinner ; and that it must be res^ 
tored to the church. She lay down that night with 
the soapulary rmind her d^roat ; but in the morning 
was found dead, with herjiead cut off, and the scapu*> 
kry was discovered in the church. Th^ belief was, 
that the devil could not endure to have so holy a 
^ing oa one of his servants, -and had'piidled so hard 
to|ret it off, as to draw the silken thread with wMch 
:^,was tied, through her neck; ailer which by some 
divine power it was restored to the church. 

Another story was as follows^ A poor Roman 
embolic was once taken prisoner by the heretics. 
He had a sai^e sedtpuiaire on his neck, when 
God seemg him in the midst of his foes, took it from 
his neck by a miracle, and h^ it up in the air above 
the throng of heroics; morethim one hundred of 
whoait were convMled, by se^ng it thus supema- 
turally suspended. 

I had been informed by the Superior, on my first 
a^vkisaton as a nun, that there wa& a subterraneous 
pafisa^ leading irom the edhit of our Convent, in- 
to that of the Congr^ational Nunnery ; but, though 
I had 80 often visited the cellar, I had never seen it. 
C^e day, after I had been received three or four . 
months, I was sent to walk through it on my knees 
with another nun, as a penance. This, and other 
praances, were scncnetimes put upon us by the prie^, 
without any reason assigned. The common way, 
indeed, was to tell us oi the sin for which a penance 
v^ imposed, Imt we were left many timw ^ conjec- 

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BJUAGJL tfVNtfSilC. 90 

tni^. Now ajid then the pfiests would iiifomi»at 
a subsefUABt coB&ssion, whoa he haf^pened to re- 
coUect something about 'ii, as I thought, and not 
because he reflected, or cared much about the sub- 

Th^ nun who was with me led me through the 
cellar, passing to the right of the secret* burying- 
place, and cd»owed nieUxe door of the subtemneous 
passage, which was at the exftrera^ towards ^ 
CoogregatimiGd Ndnnery. The reasons why I had 
not noticed it before, I presume wese, tiiat it was 
made to shut close and eyen with the wall, and all 
that part of diecellar wiis whitewashed. The door, 
whieh is of wood, and square, qpens with a kteh 
into a passage, about lour feet and a half high. 
We immedic^ly got qpon our knees, commenced 
mying the prayers required, and began to niove 
slowly along the dark aadnanww passage. It 
may be fifty or sixty feet in length; when we 
reached the end, we opened a door, and hntid our- 
selves in theeellarof the Congregational Nunnery, 
at some distance f^rom the outer wall; fcft thecor- 
ered way is carried in towardir- the middle of the 
cellar by two low partitions covered at the top. By 
ih» side d* the door, was placed a list of names of 
the Black nuns, with a slide^ that might be drawn 
over any of them. We covered our. names in 
this nianner, as evidence of having performed the ^ 
duty assigned us; and then returned backwaids 
on our knees, by the way we had coma This 
penance 1 repeatedly performed afterwards; and 

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BtuiOK inrmnutir. 9t ' 

1^ tfaii waj, m I kft ve oecaiion dsewliere to iden- 
tiDOt mmt firom the Congregatitmal Nunnery, some* 
tmed mtfeYod our Con'vMt for woise purposes. 

We were fre^iently assured, ^at miracle* $00 
still performed ; and pa«is were taken to impress m 
deejay mi this subject. The Superior ofi^ spoke 
to us of tbe Virgm Mary's pii»sui^ion, the ranains 
of whieh it is^ pr^nded are preserred in the Con- 
vea^ though it iias crumbled quite to dost. We re- 
garded Utis folic wiUi sueh Teneradoa, diat^we were 
aftaid even to look at it, and we often heard the fellow 
iag story related, when the subject was introdsced; 
- A priest in Jerusaleoa once ^davii^on, in which 
he was ix^mned thi^ the house m which the Vif^^ 
had lived, should be removed from its foundatioiw, 
fiodtraniq^rted to a distance He did not think the 
eommanication was from God, and therefore disre^ 
farcted. k; but the house was soon i^r missed, 
which conviiKed him that the vision was true, 
and he told where the house might be fouend. A 
pietisre of the house is preserved in the Nunnery, 
and was sometiines shown us. There are also wax 
%ttresof Joeeph sawing wood, and Jesus^ as a cMM, 
picking up the chips. We were taught to sing a 
litde song rdating to this, the chorus of which I 

" Sftittt Joseph diarp^tier, 
Potit Jeeas ramMsait ks copeaox 
Pour fair bouillir la marmita" 

St Joseph was a carpenter, little Jesus collected 
cbips to make the potboil. 

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98 WLACK nvnHmmn. 

I begiui Uy speak of miracles, and I reco^ect a 
story of one, about a &mily in Itaiy flfi«red froBoi 
shipwreck by a priest, wile were in consequence 
c(myerted, and had two sons iionoured with the 
priest's office. 

I had heard before I entered the Ckmvem, about 
a great £xe which destroyed a number of houses in 
tbe C^uebec suburbs, and which some said the 
Bishop extinguished with holy water. I once 
heard a Catholic an3 a Protestant disputing on this 
subject, and when I went to the Congregatioiml 
Nunnery, I sometimes heard the children, alluding 
to tl^ same Btoiy, say at an alarm of fire, <*^ Is it a 
Catholic fire? Then why does not the Bisb^ 

AiEL<mg the topics on which the Bi^iop addressed 
the nuns in the Convent, this was one. He tdd us 
the story one day> and said he could have sooner in* 
tenured and stopped the fiames, but that at last, §nd* 
ing they were about to destroy too many Ca^olie 
hcauses, he threw holy water on the fire, and ex- 
tingukhed it I believed this, and also thought that 
he was able to put out any fire, but tluit he never 
did it, except when inspired. 

The holy water which the Bishop has conse- 
crated, was considered much more efiicacious, than 
any blessed by a common priest ; and this it was 
which was used in the Ccmv^dt in sprinkling our 
beds. It had virtue in it, to keep off any evil 

Now that I was a nun, I was oecasioiwlly sent 

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tb^ntA hdmeB to the novkes, at otker ntms had 
been wliile I was a notice. >*rheTe were but fbw 
of us, wiitirwc^ thought capable of reading Eng- 
Ushr vf^\ enough, and Iher^ore, I wi^ more fre* 
quendys^dt ^keea I might oti^rwise have bee^ 
"^e Superior often isaid to mie^ as I was going 
among ^ noirkes : 

"Try to convert th«Qi — save their soul«-*yoa 
kttow yom wiQ have a higher place in heaven for 
evwy one y<m convert" 

For whatever leasob, ^kid Jiane Raysannedto- 
tate gneat ddight in cx^Ossing and provoking th<^ 
Smperior aild oM nuns; and often tk^ would cause 
an ii^rruption when It was most incofivenient and 
displeasing to them. l%e preservation of silence 
was insisted upon most rigidly, and penances of 
sifeh a nature were imposed for breaking it, that it 
Wtts a constimt source of utieasinea^ with me, to 
know that I might infringe the rules in so many^ 
ways, wad lliat im^ention might at any moment 
suited me to something vary unpleasatit. During 
the periods of meditation, therefore, and ^ose of 
l0btarQ^W)(»k;ajEtd repOte^ Irksf^ a strict guard upon 
myseli^ to escape j^emuoees, as wdi as to avoid sin ; 
a^ the nlenee of ^e c^ter nuns, convinced me 
that they were equally watchftd, and from the same 

My feelings, howev^, varied at different times^ 
and 80 &i tiboee of many, if not all my companions, 
excq)ttng the older ernes, who took tlmr turns in 
wsHehing thi. We seipeHmes felt diiposed to 

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94 ^ BL40K n^KHMAYrr 

gaiety, «iid threw off all ideas that ^Ikidg waa 
tiiifiil, eirea when febidden by the rules of tba 
Convent And even when I felt that I might pet- 
haps be douig^wroAg, I reflected that confession, and. 
certainly penance, would soon wipe off the ^fuilt. 

I may remark here, that I ere long found out 
several things, important to be known* to a peieon 
living under such rules. One of these was, that it 
was much better to confess to a priest, a sin eom^ 
roitted against the rules, because he would not re* 
quire one of the penances I most disliked, viz. : 
those wluch exposed me to the obse^ation of the 
nuns, or which demanded self-debasement bdbre 
them, like begging their pardon, kissing the floor, 
or the Superior's feet, &c., and, besides, he as a con- 
fessor was said to be bound to secrecy^ and could 
not inform the Superior against me. My consci^ice 
being as eflectuaUy unburthened by my confesaiQii 
to the priest, as I had been taught to be^eve, I there* 
fyre preferred not to tell my sins to any one elsef 
and this course I found was preferred by others fer 
the same good reasons. 

To Jane Ray, however, it sometimes appeared to 
be a matter of p^ect indifierence, who knew her 
violations of rule, or to what penances she exposed 

Often and oilen, while perfect silence prevaSed 
among the nuns, i^ meditation, or while nothing 
was to be heard except the voice oi the reader 
appointed for the day, no «aatter whose life or 
wntinfs wejre presea^ for our conten^li^oiis 

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June would break forth with some remark or qiies- 
tiOR, that wouW attract general attention, and often 
cause a long and total interruption. Sometimes she 
woud make some harmless remark or inquiry 
alcud, as if through mere inadvertency, ^d then 
her load and well known voice, so strongly as- 
sociated with every thing singular and ridiculous, 
wotild arrest the attention of us all, and generally 
incline us to smile, and even force us to laugh. The 
Superior would then usually utter some hasty re- 
monstrance, and many a time I have heard her 
pronoxmce some penance upon her j but Jane had 
ever some apology ready, or some reply calculated 
lo irriate still farther, or to prove to every one, that 
no punishment would be effectual on her. Some-. 
times this singular woman would appear to be ac- 
tifiated by opposite feelings and motives ; for although 
she usually delighted in drawing others into dif- 
ficulty, and has thrown many a severe penance 
even upon her greatest favourites, on other occa- 
sions she appeared totally regardless of consequences 
herself, and preferred to take all the blame, anxious 
only to shield others. 

I have repeatedly known bet to break silence in 
the community, as if she had no object, or none 
beyond that of causing disturbance, or exciting a 
smile, and as soon as it was noticed, exclaim : " Say 
If s me, say it's me 1" 

Sometimes she would even expose herself to 
punishments in pjace of another who was guilty ; 
and thus I fmind it difficult fully to understand b«r. 

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In some cases she seemed decidedly out of her^ wits, 
as the Superior and priests commonly preferred to 
represent her; but generally I saw in her what 
prevented me from accounting her insane. 

Among her most common tricks were such a^ 
these : She gave me the name of the *' Devoul 
English Reader/' because I was often appointed to 
make the lecture to the English girls \ and some- 
times, after taking a seat near me, imder pretence 
of deafness, would whisper it in my hearings be* 
cause she knew my want of self-command when 
excited to laughter. Thus she often exposed me tc 
penances for a breach of decorum, and set me to 
biting my lips, to avoid laughing outright in the 
midst of a solemn lecture. ^ Oh ! you devout Eng- 
lish Reader T' would sometimes came upon me sud- 
dently from her lips, with something in it so ludi- 
crous that I had to exert myself to the utmost to 
avoid observation. 

This came so often at one time, that I grew un- 
easy, and told her I must confess it, to unburden 
my conscience ; I had not done so before, because 
she would complain of me, for giving way to temp- 

Sometimes she would pass behind us as we stood 
at dinner ready to sit down, and softly moving back 
our chairs, leave us to fall down upon the floor. 
This she repeatedly has done ; and while we wer« 
laughing together, she would spring forward, kneel 
to the Superior, and b^ her pardon and a penance. 

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X.* ' .. . , _ . 

", : C14APTER XL 

f 43ftUr^/r9^ ^ Superior— Proc^sd to execute M— 
, Scene in an upper Room—Sentence 0/ Deaths and Mwrdtf-— 
' My own dhtresa— Reports made to friends ^ St i^Vwie^ 

* fivt' ItMM ^am wnae le mat 4wi^m wUfl^ I 

]gfreater ^mo^'dnd ^in, lAiafttany oeqfurMQc^i in 
'f he * Ocmven^ in wkieh* I m^m, not the j^rii^ipRl 
^imftrdr. Iri9 not WBcemdrjr fer ma to «tt«iflilo 
'exctfse ift;fsetf Id^^ir <ir mOijAAiet ««ia TlM«e 

%rIia1iaTe ^ny 'di6|»^itm 46 JQ4g>a ftklyv wiU ejuif- 
le^^dr <yfm fudgtawet in -iBtloBgaUoivwioei, Ar 

Ine, tmder tile l^r ^iohI foree, 4he commtidt^apd 

m^lf, as usttftl, to tli» wi^la twRatiy^ .of &Qt«. 
*The time iras 'tlboa^fiv•^al6H&•*tafter I took tlie 
Veil; Ae ^vft^Skst wi^i^ooe), ^lia^ ia Sfy ^^ m 
ber or Oct^^. Ooe tiayv tke- Siq>enor( a^^ fi>r 
the and seveml other muis^JtOFireQme. bar com* 
mands at a particixlrr room. We foimd theBi«bop 
imd some priests with ber; and i|)eidifeg in annn- 
usual tone of iSerceness mA authoc^, die wA^ 
** Go to the room for the Bxianination of Conscience, 
and drag Saint Francis np-stairs." Nothing more . 
was necessary than tbis^ unusual command, with the 
tone and mann^ which a<^eompanied it, to ejicite in 
me most gloomy anticipations. It did not strike me 


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9f H^Ci: KUNWKET. 

as atraage^ that St. Francis should be in tlia ro<»ato 
which the ^pcrior directed us. It was att apart- 
raent to which we were often sent to prepare for the 
communion, and to wiijteh we vokii^rily went, 
whenerer we felt the compuncticms which ouc 
ignorance of duty, and the mi^structidns we se- 
eeived, iBcl»ed us to seek relief from self-reproaoh. 
Indeed, I had se^fi her there a little before. What 
tended me wa8,€Tst, theSixperior'« ai^yraattiier; 
second, the eiqpreesion she iMed, b^og a Freooh 
term, whQ||^ peculiar use I had leamt in the Con- 
vent, and whose^ msaxiing is Mher softened wh^ 
traafiteed into drag; ^lird, the piace to whi^h we 
were dimeted to take the ia^esth^ youag uusi and 
thie persons asscn^bied there as I avLppomA to con- 
demn ^er. My £mufs were«tteh, conc^^^g ^ &te 
Ihat awaited h^ and my ho^cror at the idea that she 
was in some wi^ to be s^ierificed, that I would hara 
given aay thing to be aUowed to stay wh^re I was. 
But I ^^ared the coftSequeKices ^ disobeying the 
^iuperior, and proceeded wi^ the rest towards the 
room for the ^xatnination of eonscienoe. 

The voont to whkh we wer^ to proceed from that, 
was in the second -story; and ^e place of many a 
«eene oi a shamefrd j^ure. It is sufficient for me 
to say, ali^ what I have said in other parts of this 
book, that things had there occurred which made 
me regard the place with the greatest disgust. 
Saint Francis had appeared meUtncholy for s<»ne 
time. I well knew that she had cause, for she had 
been repeatedly subject to trials which I need not 

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fittme-^mtr eolii»koii kl Wkeit we Mttebed the 
room where we Imd tetn biddea to wfk het, I ett- 
tefed the door, my tompattioM tUuiding behiad me, 
9$ the pb6e was so »&ftll as hardly to hokl five per- 
sotis at a tfeae. The youHg nun was staadkig' 
alone, near the middle of tfce room ; irfie was proba^ 
My ahont twenty, with light hair, Mtte eyes, and a 
tety fair complexion. 1 spoke to her in a compas- 
sionate voice, btct at the same time with iiieh a 
decided mamier, that she comp^^iended my ^1 
meaning — * , 

**Saint F^nmcis, we are sent ibr ywi." 
Scyerkl others spoke ^indly to her, but two ad* 
dressed l^r very harshly. The poor creature turn* 
ed round with a look of meeknesii, and w^out ex- 
pressing any unwillingness or fear, without even 
speaking a word, resigned herself to our hands. 
The tears came info my eyes. I had not a mo- 
ment'is doubt that she e^sidered her &te as W&e^e^ 
and was already beyond the fear of death. She 
was conducted, or rather hurried to the staircase, 
which was near by, and then seized by her limbs 
and clothes, and in feet almost dragged trp-staits, in 
the sehse the Superior had intended. I laid my own 
handis upon her — I took hold rf her- too, — more 
g^itly ind^eed than some of the rest ; yet I encou- 
raged and assisted them in carrying her. I could 
not avoid it. My refusal wo«dd not have saved her, . 
nor pxev^ited her being carried up ; it would only 
have exposed me to some severe punishment, as I 

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m jii|yM«;Mvpiuu|ir. 

tMi|)efiad.a»Bi|e A^my cqmpawms would hfse stmi 
tl^ flrat jopjptg^tHBity to^compbda of lo*. ^ . 

AU tbe.w^y iiptbe^staice»8Q^ Saint Fiaacis spake, 
not a word, nor made t}^ slightegt resistaiM^^ 
Wiien we eoter^ witl\ tier tjsfe&room to wliich sbe 
wa8 ordered, jmy heart sunk withia me. Tim 
^ialiop, the L94y Superior, and five priests, vix. 
Bouiu, lUchards, SaTagerand two others, I uow as^ 
oertained, were assembled ibr her trial, on. some 
du^rge of gr^t unportane^ ^ 

When we had brought our prisoner before them^ 
Father Rich^ds begvi to queotioii hei; and dte 
made ready huyt calm vejdies, I cann^ pret^d to 
give a connected account of what ensued: lay feoL 
ings were wrought, up to such a pitch, that I kne^ 
UK^, what I did, iu>r what to do* I was under a terri- 
bio. apprehension .that, if I betrayed . the feelings 
which almost overcame me« I should Ml under the 
dis|dflasure of the cold-blooded persecutors of my 
poor innocent sister; and this fear, on the one hand^ 
with the distress I felt for her on the other, render- 
ed me almost iranticr. >As soon as I stored the 
room* X had stej^ped into a corner, on the left of the 
entrance, where^I might partially support myself 
by leading a^gQi^u^the^wa^ between the door mid 
windaw« This support was all that prevented me 
from &lling to the floor, for the confnsioQ of my 
thoughts was so gref^ that only Ji few of the words 
I heard spoken on either, side made any lasting im- 
pression upon me. I felt as if struck with some in^ 
supportable blow; and death would not have been 

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WLMAK HtJinnilfcY. 1^1 

BMpe ^ighftii 10 me. I am hNcliaed to tbe b^ie^ 
tibfti P«yber Rkksxds witiied to i^ield tbe^poorpiii- 
(misr from the^Mverky of tet fiite, by ctrawmg fiiom 
Jrar expnnoDS drat might bear a &votirable eon- 
stFiiction. He aslied her, amcotg other things, if 
t^ waa Efcot sorry fc^r what she had been ovelrheard 
to sayi (for she had been betrayed by one of the 
Bims^y and if s^ would not prefer eon&iement in 
the cellSy to tiie punishmeiit which was threatened 
her. BvA ^e BiApp 90011 interrupted him, and it 
was eaay to pereeive, ^lat he eoni^dered her (kte as 
sealed, a^ was dete^mlined she should not escape. 
In reply to some of the questions put to her, she was 
«lei^; to others I heard her voice reply that she did 
not repent of words she had litftered, though they 
had been reported by some of the nuns who had 
heard than;, that she still Wished to escape from 
the Conyent ; «eid dmt fhe had firmly resolved to 
resist every attempt to compel her to the commission 
of crimes which she detested. She added, that she 
would rather die than cause the murder of harmless 

" That is enough, finish her !" said the Bishop. 

Two nuns instantly fell upon lhl> young woman, 
and in obedience to directions, given by the Supe- 
rior, prepared to execute her sentence. 

She 1^11 nmntained all the calmness and subm&- 
sien of a iamb. Some of diose who took part in 
Ais transaction, I brieve, were as unwilHng as my- 
self; but of oOieia I can safely say, that I believe 
they dd^i>t«d ki it. T^ir conduct ccartainly ex- 

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192 »Mos mrimBur. 

.others peeei^ and. above alllmmai^ fienchi I- eater 
mr, I tbiak Saint Hypotite was die matt cliaMi- 
€^. Jibe ^Qfagei in tt^bornd tadc wi&,all akb- 
ri^, and aeesumed jOrom -choke the i£u)st re^dtmg 
parte to b^ performed^ Bhe aeized « g^^ibfced it 
into the month of tkef poor nun, andiwhenii'vras 
fii;edbet«ro^ her ^[tended jawB, ao as tohosgrthmi 
opa^ at their greatest posaiUe dntanee, took hoM of 
the stn^ &8teBed at each ^nd of .&e stiek^ crossed 
them hehind the heif^ess head i^ the vi<^im^ amd 
drew, thean t^ht through the' loop pr^mred as«a 

The bed wliich had always stood in one part of 
the room, still reac^nied th^e; though the screra, 
li^ich had usually been placed b^re it, axid -wns 
made of thick muslin, with only a crevice tlmmgh 
which a person behind sgiight look out, had been 
folded up on its hinges in the form] of a- W, and 
placed in a comer. Oa the bed the prisoner was 
laid with her face upward, and then bound with 
cords, so that she could not move. In an instant 
another bed was thrown upon her. One of the 
priests, named Benin, sprung like a fury first upon 
it, and stamped upon it, with all his force. He was 
speedily followed by 4he n^ns, until th^e were as 
many upon the bed as could find xoobqi, and ail did 
what they eould^ not only to smother, but to bruise 
her. Some stooAu]^ and jumped tip<m the poor girl 
with their 6et» some wkh their kneee^ and etherain 
d!&ren^4rays seemed to seek how thef mghl beet 

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Bt ACK NVKlf BRT. 108 

beat the breath out of her bpdy^ and mangle* it, with* 
but coming in direct contact with it, or seeing tHe 
effects of their violence. During' this time, my 
feelings were alijaost too strong to be endured. 1 
felt stupified, and scarcely was conscious of what I 
did. Still, fear for myself remained in a sufficient 
degree to induce me to some exertion, and I attempt- 
ed to talk to those who stood next, partly that I 
might have jEm excuse for turning away from the 
dreadful scene. 

After the lapse of fifteen or twenty minutes, and 
when it was presumed that the sufferer had been 
smothered, and crushed to death. Father Benin 
and the nuns ceased to trample upon her, and step- 
ped from the bed. All was motionless and silent 
oeneath it 

They then began to laugh at such inhuman 
thoughts as occurred to some of them, rallying 
each other in the most unfeeling manner, and ridi- 
culing me for the feelings which I in vain en- 
deavoured to conceal They alluded to the resigna- 
tion of our murdered companion, and one of Uiem 
tauntingly said, "She would have made a good 
Catholic martyr." After spending some moments 
in such conversation, one of them asked if the 
corpse should be removed. The Superior said it 
had better remain a little while. After waiting a 
short tim^ longer, the feather-bed was taken offj the 
cords iploQsed, and the body taken by the n^ns arid 
dragged down stairs. I v^ infpnped that it was 
taken into the cellar, and mrown uncerenionio«!iSy 

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into tke hole which I have already described, 
covered with a great quantity of lime, and after- 
ward sprinkled with a liquid, of the properties and 
name of which I am ignorant. This liquid I have 
seen poured into the hole from large bottles, after 
the necks were broken of^ and have heard that it is 
used in France to prevent the effluvia rising from 

I did not soon recover .from the shock caused f^y 
this set^e; indeed it still recurs to me, with most- 
jgloomy impressions. The next day there was a 
melancholy aspect over every thing, and recreation- 
time p^^eed in the dullest manner] scarcely any 
thing vras said above a whisper. 

I never heard much said afterward about Saint 

I spoke with one of the nuns, a few words, one 
day, but we were all cautioned not to expose our- 
selves very far, and could not place much reliance 
in each other. The murdered nun had been brought 
to her shocking end through the treachery of one of 
our number, in whom she confided. 

I never knew with certainty who had reported 
her remarks to the Superior, but suspicion ftistened 
« one, and I never could regard her but with de- 

I was more inclined to blame her than some of 
those employed in the execution ; for there could 
have been no necessity for the betrajral of her feel- 
JQga. We all kMW how to avoid exposing each 

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I was often seat by the Superior to overhear what 
was said by novices and nuns : when they seemed 
to shun her, she would say, " Go and listen, they 
are speaking EngtSh;" and though I obeyed her, 
I never informed her agnjbst them. If I wished to 
olear my conscience, I would go to a priest, aricf 
coofass, knowing that he dared ^ot communicate 
what Ijsaid to any person, and that he would not 
im^^ as heavy peiftinces as the Superior. 

We were always at liberty to choose another con^ 

iQr when we had any sin to confess, which we 
were unwilling to tell one^ to whom we should 
otherwise have gone. ^ 

Not long after the murder just related, a young 
lYpman came to tbe nunnery, and asked for permis- 
sion to see Saint Francis. It was my former friend 
with whom I had been as an assistant teacher, Miss 
Louise Bousquet, of St. Denis. From this, I sup- 
posed the murdered nun might have come j^om t]iat 
town, or its vicinity. The only answer returned to 
the inquiry was, that Saint Francis was dead. 

Some time afterward, some of St. Francis'' friends 
called to inquire after her, and they were told that 
she had died a glorious death ; and further told, that 
she made some heavenly expressions, which wei^^ 
repeated, in order to satisfy her friends. ^^ 

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BmeripHon iff the Boom of Hu TKrtt Siale$^ and the Piciurto 
in iP—Jane Bay rUUeuling Priest9>— Theit eriviinarTVtai- 
mmt qfwai ConftuUmr-Jan* Bmii'% Tridc^ wWi tiw Mhn^ 
Ajiront, Bdw^trtM^t and Nig/UgoWBto—AppUf. 

The pictures in the room of thfe Three Statet 
were large, and painted by some artist who under- 
stood howto make horrible ones. They n.ppeated^ 
to be stuck to the walls. The light is admitted 
inom ffitaalt and li%h windows, which are curtahied, 
afnd ii$ rather fidnti so as to make ^vtry thiag lo^ 
gloomy. The story told us was, thirt they were 
painted by an artist, to whom God had given power 
to represent things exactly as they are in heaven, 
hell, and purgatory. 

In heelven, the picture of which hangs on one side 
of the apartment^ multitudes of nuns and priests are 
put in the highest plao^, with the Virgin Mary at 
the head, St. Peter and other saints far above the 
great numbe];s of good Catholics q€ o^ier classes, 
who were crowded in below. 
J^ In purgatory are multitudes of people ; and in one 
part, called ** The place of lambs*' are in&nts who ' 
died unbaptized. " The place of darkness,'^ is that 
part of purgatory in which adults are collected; and 
there they are siurrounded with flames, waiting to 
- he delivered by the prayers of the living. 

In hsll, the picture of which, and that of purga- 

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» ' ■- 

toty^ were on the inwH x^ffpomlte that df heav^ the 
human faces were the mo&{ horrible that can be 
imagined. Persons of (tifier^t descriptions were 
represented, with the most distorted features, ghastly 

* ^.co^iipleiulons, and every variety of dreadiul expres- 

msm p some with wild beasts gnawing at their hea^ 
others furiously biting the ^on bars wUch kept 
them ih, with looks which could not &il to make a 
Jl^ectator shitdder. 

I eould hardly persfuuk myself thi^ the £gnrea 
- w^e not living, and the impression they made on 
my ftdings was powerful. I was often shown the 
place where Bims go who break their vows, as a 
waning. It is the hottest place in hell, and worse, 
m nvery point of view, even than that to which i^ 
FMesteo^ are assigned^ because they are not ao 
ihuch (o be blamed, as we were sometimes assured* 
' as thdr ministers and the Bd>le, by which they are 

Whenever I wasshut in that rocmi, ae I was sev- . 
exal times, I prayed for '** fes ames des fideles tr^- 
pass^ :" the souls of those feithfol ones who have 
long been in purgatory, and iiave no relations living 
to pray fcHT them. 
' My :feelings were often of the most painful d«4 ^ 

* scription,. while I remained alone with tl|0p% irigbt- 
•j^ ful pictures. ^ 
^, Jane Ray was once put in, and vittdred the most 

dreadful shrieks. Some of the old nuns proposed 
to the Superior to have her gagged : ** No," she re- 

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lOft . , ^ MACK ihTitiniftir/ , '. 

plied; *go and let oWtliat ieril, she makes me sm " 
more thui all the rest^' 

Jsoeconld not endure the place; and sheafier^ 
ward gave names to many of the worst figures hi:, 
the pictures. On catechism-days she would take a ' 
seat behind a cupboard-door, where the priest could ■, 
not see her, whik she fiiced the nuns, and would - 
. make us lau||(h« ^ Tou are not so attentive to youi^ 
lesson as you used to be," he would begin to Ssy^ 
while w'e were endeavonriag to suppress our 
laughter. ^ . - v - - 

Jane would then hold np the first letter i^fsdme' 
priest's name» whom she had before' comp»ed with 
one of the feces in "hell," and' look so th&l we* 
could hardly preserve our gravity. I reitt^^lm 
she named the wretch who was biting at the^ bars^ 
of hell, with a serpent gnawing his heiid, wWi 
chains and padlocks on, Fisther Dufiresne;^nd she ' - 
would say — " Does not he look like him, when he ' 
comes in to Cteecbism with his hr^ solemn ^^e, 
and b^fins his fipeeekes with, * My children, my 
hope is, you have li^red very devout lives V " 

The first time I went lo confession ailer taku^ 
the veil, I fov^ abundant evidence that the prists 
did not treat even that cereknony, which is called a 
«>lemn.sacrsin6nt, wi& respect enough to lay aside 
the detestable and shameless character they so often v: 
showed on other occasions. The confessor some* 
times sat in the room for the examini^n of con- 
science, and sometimes in the Superior's room, and 
always alone, except the nun who was confessing. 

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vum mmmmt. iOft 

%[i'bftd t<^0tititvon chak plscsd in dM^Buddleofthe 
.floor, and instead of being placed behind a grate, or 
lattice, as in tlie cluipdl, 4iad nothing before or 
caround liint There were no speotators to obserre 
%ini, and of ^course any «och thing wonld hare 
4)een unnecessary. 

Annmber-of mms unnally confessed on the saiiie 
<i^y, but only Ode could be admitted into tiie room 
^atkne. They^octktbear places just withant the 
<h)or, on their knees, and went tlirou^ the Tprep^n,' 
^on prescribed by theirales of confession ; repeating 
certain prayers, wbk^ always occupy a consider- 
4lble time. WhMi otie was feady, she rose'from her 
tuiees, entered, and cioaied the door behind her] and 
«io other onee^ren dmred toKich the lalch until she 
•came out. 

I shall not teK ^at was transacted at snch times, 
tinder th^ pretence ^cf confessing, tmd receiving ah- 
lyolntion ^em sin : ^ more gmk was often incurred 
than pardoned-^ and crimes of a deep die were com- 
jtnitted, while^ifling irregtflarities, in childish cere- 
monies, were treettied as serious offences. I cannot 
petsuade myself to speak pilainly on such a subject, 
mn I must (^end thevirtuoua ear. I can only say, 
ithat suspicion cannot do any icgufitice to the priests, 
'because their sins cannot be exaggerated. 

Some idea may1)eifonned'of the manner in which 

»^Veh itoch women BSmsn^ of my sister nuns wove 

l^rdcid a^ confesfllbfa^ wlien I state, that there 

iHadlt^ii eontdit din^gf m to avoid eniering tfie 

,^^^md^ if Idkl^ wk W eouM, ettd«avwying to 


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110 hLAOm mTHHlRT. 

make eftcb: other go first,. as that was what most oT 
us dreaded. 

During the long, and tedious days, which filled 
up the time between the occurrences I have men- 
tioned, nothing, or little, took place to- keep up. our 
spirits. We were fatigued in body with labour, or 
with sitting, debilitated by the long, continuance of 
our religious exercises, and depressed in feelings 
by QUI miserable and hopelesa condition. Nothing 
bat the humours of mad. lane Ray, could rouse us 
for a moment from our. languor and melancholy^ 

To mention all' her devices,, would require more 
room thaa is here allowed, and a memory of almost 
all her woids and actions for years;- I had early 
bedome a favourite with her, and had opportunity to 
learn more of her character than most of the other 
nuns. As this may be best learnt.^ fiN>m hearing 
what she did, I will here reeounta few of her tricks, 
just as they happen to present themselves to^ my 
memory, without regard, to the order of time. 

She one day, in an unaccountable humour, sprink- 
led the floor plentifully, with holy water, which 
brought upon her a severe lecture from the Supe- 
rior, as might have been expected The Superior 
said it was a heinous ofience ; she had wasted holy 
water enough to save many souls from purgatory ; 
and what would they not give for it I She than or- 
dered Jane to sit in the middle of the floor,, and 
when the priest came, he was informed of her of- 
fence. Instead, however, of imposing one of those 
penances to which she had often been subjected, 

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"bttt with 80 little effect, ke said lo \ei, *'Oo to 
your "place, Jane ; iw^e forgive you to this time." 

I was once 'Set to iron aprons with Jane; aprons 
:«nd pocket-handkerchiefs are the only articles t)f 
dress which are ever ironed in the Convent. As 
aoon ^as we wefe aloae, she remarked, ** Well, we 
are iffee from the^ules, while we are at this work ;" 
and although she knew^she had no reason for say- 
ing iso, she began to sing, and I soon joined her, 
and' thus we> spent, the* time, while we were at work, 
to the neglect of the pn^ers we ought to have aaid. 

We had no idea that we were in danger of being 
orverheard, 'but it >happened <hat the ^Superior was 
overhead all the tune, with several nuns, who were 
preparing for confession : she came down and said, 
*' How is this ?'' Jane Ray coolly replied, that we 
had employed our time in singing hymns, and re- 
ferred to me. I was afraid to confirm so direct a 
^ilsehaod, in order to deceive .the Superior, though 
I'had^ofien told.mere ii^iirious eoea of her^&brica- 
tion, or at her ordevs, and said, very little in reply to 
Jane'a request 

The Superior plainly saw the trick that was at- 
tempted, and 'ordered us both to the room for the 
examination of conscience, where we remained till 
night, without a mouthful to eat The time was not, 
however, unoccupied; I received «uch a lecture 
from Jane, as I have very seldom heard, and she 
was so angry with .me that we did not speak to each 
4>ther for two wetiks. 
^Ai length ahe ifound something to complain of 

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lit whMm ninrirnftT- 

agaiml me^ bad mo nil^jected to a pnoaoce, wii«fr 
led to oar begging eadi ottiei^« pardon, and we V^ 
came perfectly satiefed, reeooeiled, and aa^ good^ 
Mends aa ever 

One of tke most (yagiiBliog penaneea ipe aTer: 
had t)D sabmit to, waa thai of dviaking th# w«iter ix» 
whklt the Supeiaor faad^ wathad her feet Nobod]r 
' coaU ever laugh at thk penance* eicepl^ lane Bay^ 
She would pretend to coo^i^rt na, by saymg, abr 
waa sure it was better thaam^e pkia clear water^ 

jSmne of the tiicka which i r#m£imbax, were play^ 
ed by Jime with nuns' eiothea. It was a rule that, 
the oldest aprons in use ahouid go to the youngest 
received, and the old nuns weia to wear aU tha- 
new onesi On fi)ttr diffirei^ oscasions, J^ne atoler 
intalibe sleeping-room, at nig^ and'noobsei^ed by^ 
the watch, changed a gi^t past of the apnns, pla-^ 
eing them hythe beds of nuns to whom they did^ 
not belong. The consequence was^. that in the^ 
morning they dressed ^lemsekes m such haste, as^ 
never to discover the mista&es they madet^until they 
were all ranged at prayers ; and then the ridiculoufr 
appearance which many of them cut, disturbed the- 
long devotions. I laugh so easily; thait on such oc- 
casions, I usually mcuned a &ill<ahareo(penances. 
I generally, however, got a< new iq^ron, when Jand- 
played this trick ; lor it was part of her olject, to* 
give tbe best aprons to hor favourites^ and put off 
the ragged enes on some of the old nuns whom sha- 
most hated. 

Jane once lost her poeket-UandkarchiaL Thor 

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SLACK mmNKRV. 113 

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Jaae iMuofii the ttigbftgonna ta the Iwdttf Ar 
nuii9, ftom whom sbe hid hcarEowMd them, mid they 
W9f9 probably as much mrpriied to fiiid.them<mgaiii,. 
ai the J had befoie been at loaing th«A. 

Jane oikce found ap oppoitosity tb fill hut aproiy 
with a qiKBtity of fine apples, €alled/aiaet^«ef^ which 
came in her wayrand, hastening op to the deeping- 
room, hid therar under my bed. Then,eoimngdown^. 
she informed me, and we agsfeed ta apply for leaver 
to make onr elerens, a# it is cailedi Tile meaning' 
of this is, to repeat a certain ro^ind of prayeie. for 
nine days in succession, to some saintr we choose to* 
address for assistance, in becoming moTO cbaricablor 
afiectionate, or something else. We easily obtained- 
permission, and hastened up-staii^ to'beginrour nine- 
days' feast on the apples; when, much ti^our sur- 
prise, they had all been taken away, amd there waff 
no way to avoid the disagreeable £fLte we had 
brouglrt upon ourselves. Jane therefore began to* 
search the beds of the other nuns ; but not findingr 
any trace of the apples^ sbf) be^eame douUy vexed^ 
and stuck pins in thpse whi^iit belonged to her ene- 

When bedtime came, tbsy wtrir mneh sciatchsd 
in getting in bed, which made thetn break iilenc«i 
and tha$ sulge^t^^ thm to.p«i^n^i^ 

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polking— &U$^ Oder— Changing Bedt—Objtei^ qfrn^ms 
qfher Tricks^Ptigned HumUUy—Alarmr-TrMtnunt qfa 
new Nun— A Nunmade,by atratagtm* 

Oni night, Jane, who had heen sweqnng th« 
8leq)iQg-Joom, &r a penance, dressed up the brocMn* 
stick, when she had completed her work, with « 
white cloth on the end, so tied as to resemble an dd 
woman dressed in white, with long arms sticking 
out This she stuck through a broken pane of glass, 
and placed it so that it appeared to be looking in at 
the window, by the font of holy water. There it 
lemained until the nuns came up to bed. The first 
who stopped at the font, to dip her finger in, cwxghSt 
a glimpse of the singular object, and started with 
terror. The next was equally terrified, as she ap* 
I»roached, and the next, and the next 

We all believed in ghosts ; and it was not wonder- 
ful that such an object should cause alarm, especially 
as k was but a short time ailer the death of one of the 
nuna. Thus they went on, each getting a fright in 
t«m, jret all afraid to speak. At length, one more 
abinaedy oir widi less presence of mind than the rest^ 
•xchimedi *' Oh, num Dieu 1 Je ne me coucherais 
fftsT When the nightrwateh called out, ««Who*a 
dun?" She confessed she had broken sileoee. but 
pointed at the cause; woA then, all the nuns astern- 

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116 BLACK NlTKKlBftir. 

liing at a distance from the window, Jane offered to 
advance boldly, and ascertain the nature of the ap« 
parition, which they thought a most resolute inten* 
lion. We all stood looking on, when she stepped 
to the window, drew in the broomstick, and showed 
us the ridiculous puppet, which had alarmed so 
many superstitious fears. 

Some of her greatest feats she performed as a 
sleep-walker. Whether she ever walked in her 
sleep or not, I am unable, with certainty, to say. 
She, however, often imposed upon the Superior and 
old nuns, by making them think so, when I knew 
she did not ; and yet, I cannot positively say that she 
always did. I have remarked, that one of the old 
nuns was always placed in our at 
night, to watch us. Sometimes she would be inat- 
tentive, and sometimes fall into a doze. Jane Ray 
often seized such times to rise from her bed, and 
walk about, occasionally seizing one of the nuns 
in bed, in order to frighten her. This she gener- 
ally affected; and many times we have all been 
awakened, by screams of terror. In our alarm, 
some of us frequently broke silence, and gave occa- 
4ion to the Superior to lay us under penances. Many 
times, however, we escaped with a mere reprimand, 
while Jane usually received expressions of com- 
passion : — *' Poor creature ! she would not do so 
if she were in perfect possession of her reason " 
And Jane displayed her customary artfulness, in 
keeping up the ftilse impression. As soon as she 
perceived that the old nun was likely to observe lieT« 

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Ab would tluow her arms aboirt, or appear imeoit- 
arious of whiu she was doing, fitUing upon a bed, 
or flUvnding stock-still, until exertions luid been 
made to rouse her from her supposed lethargy. 

We were once allowed to drink cider at dinner, 
whkh was quite an extraordinary &¥our. Jane, 
however, on account of her negligence of all work, 
was denied the privilege, which she much resented. 
The next day, when dumer arrived, we began to 
taste our new drink, but it was so salt we could not 
swallow it. Those of us who at first discovered it, 
were, as usual, afraid to speak ; hut we set down our 
cups, and looked round, till the others made the 
same discovery, which they all soon did, and most 
of them in the same manner. Some, however, at 
length, taken by surprise, uttered some ludicrous 
exclamation, on tasting the salted cider, and then an 
old nun, looking cross, would cry out: — 

•* Ah ! ttt casses la silence !" (Ah ! you've broken 

And thus we soon got a-laug^ing, beyond our 
power of suppressing it At recreation, that day, the 
first question asked by many of us, was, " How did 
you like your cider?" 

Jane Ray never had a fixed place to sleep in. 
When the weather began to grow warm in the 
spring, she usually pushed some bed out of its place, 
near a window, and put her own beside it; and 
when the winter approached, she would choose a 
spot near the stove, and occupy it with her bed, in 

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apite of all remonstrance. We were all convinced 
that it waM generally best to yield to her. 

She was often set to work, in difierent ways ; but, 
whenever she was dissatisfied with doing any thing, 
would devise some trick that would make the Su- 
perior, or old nuns, drive her off; and whenever 
any suspicion was expressed, of her being in her 
right mind, she would say, that she did not know 
what she was doing; that all the difficulty arose 
from her repeating prayers too much, which wearied 
and distracted her mind. 

I was once directed to assist Jane Ray, in shifting 
the beds of the nuns. When we came to those of 
some of the sisters, whom she most disliked, she 
said, now we will pay them for some of the penan- 
ces we have suffered on their account ; and taking 
some thistles, she mixed them with the straw. At 
night, the first of them who got into bed, felt the 
thistles, and cried out. The night-watch exclaimed, 
as usual, *♦ You are breaking silence there." And 
then another screamed, as she was scratched by the 
thistles, and another. The old nun then called on 
all who had broken silence to rise, and ordered them 
to sleep under their beds, as a penance, which they 
silently complied with. Jane and I afterward con- 
fessed, when it was all over, and took some trifling 
penance which the priest imposed. 

Those nuns who fell most under the displeasure 
of mad Jane Ray, as I have intimated before, were 
those who had the reputation of being most ready to 
inform of the trifling faults of others and especially 

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those who acted without any regard to honour, by 
discbsing what they had pretended to listen to in 
confidenee. Severad of the worst-tempered "samta?' 
she held in abhorrence ; and I have heard her say, 
that such and such, she abominated. Many a trick 
did she play upon these, some of which were pain- 
ful to them in their consequences, and a good num- 
ber of them have never been traced to this day. Of 
all the nuns, however, none other was regarded by 
her with so much detestation as Saint Hypolite ; for 
ahe was always believed to have betrayed Saint 
Francis, and to have caused her murder. She was 
looked upon by us as the voluntary cause of her 
death, and of the crime which those of us commit- 
ted, who, unwillingly, took part in her execution. 
We, on the contrary, being under the worst oi fears 
for ourselves, in case of refusing to obey our mas- 
ters and mistress, thought ourselves chargeable with 
less guilt, as unwilling assistants in a scene, which 
it was impossible for us to prevent or delay. Jane 
has often spoken with me of the suspected informer, 
and always in terms of the greatest bitterness. 

The Superior sometimes expressed commisera- 
tion for mad Jane Ray, but I never could teU whether 
she really believed her insane or not I was always 
inclined to think that she was willing to put up with 
some of her tricks, because they served to divert our 
minds from the painful and depressing circumstances 
in which we were placed. I knew the Superior's 
powers and habits of deception also, and that she 
would deceive us as willingly as any one else. 

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Sometimes she proposed to send Jan^ to St 
Anne's» a place near Quebec, cel^rated U>t the pil- 
grimages made to it by persons differently afflicted 
It is supposed that some peculiar virtue exists there, 
which will restore health to the sick ; and I hate 
heard stories told in corroboration of the common 
belief. Many lame and blind persons, with others, 
visit St Anne's erery year, some of whom may be 
seen travelling on foot, and begging their food. 
The Superior would sometimes say that it was a 
pity thftt a woman like Jane Ray, capable of being 
80 useful, should be unable to do her duties in coii' 
sequence of a malady which she thought might be 
cured by a visit to St Anne's. 

Tet to St Anne's Jane was i^ver sent, and her 
wild and various tricks continued as before The 
rules of silence, which the others were so scrupulom 
in observing, she set at naught every hour ; and as 
for other rules, she regarded them with as little re- 
spect when they stood in her way. She would now 
and then step oi^ and stop the clock by which ovr 
exercises were regulated, and sometimes, in this 
manner, length^oied out our recreations till near 
twelve* At last the old nuns began to watch against 
such a trick, and would occasionally go out to see 
if the clock was going. 

She once made a request that she might not eat 
with the other nuns, which was granted, as it 
seemed to proceed from a spirit of g^uine hu- 
mility, which made her regard herself it unwcnrthj 
of our society. 

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ti bemg' most convbfii^l, slie was seat to the Sd- 
peribr's table, to make her meds a&er her; and ii 
did not at first ocetnr to the Superior, that Jane* in 
this manner, profited by the change, by getting 
much better food than the rest of iis. Thus there 
seemod to be always something deeper than any- 
body at first suspected* at the bottom t)f every thing 
she did. 

She was onc« directed to sweep a community- 
room, under the sleeping-chamber. This office had 
before been assigned to the other nuns, as a pen- 
ance ; but the Superior^ considering that Jane Ray 
did little or nothing, determined thus to furnish her 
with some employment. 

She tteclated to us that she would not sweep it-^ 
long, as we miglit 4oon be assured. It happened 
that the stove by which that comrnunity-roonti was 
warmed in th# winter, had its pipe carried through 
the floor of our sleeping-chamber, and thence across 
it, in a direction opposite that in which the pipe of 
oUr stove was carried. It being then wartn Weather, 
the first-mentioned pipe had been taken down, and 
the hole left unstopped. After we had all retired to 
our beds, and while engaged in our silent prayers, 
we were suddenly alarmed by a bright bkze of fire, 
which burst from the hole in the floor, attd threw 
sparks all around us. We thought the building 
was burning, and uttered cries of terror, regardless 
of the penances, the fear of which generally kept us 

The utmost conftision prevailed ; foraithough we 

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had solemoly vowed never to flee firdSH the Convent 
even if it was on fire, we were extremely alarmed, 
and could not repress our feelings. We soon learnt 
the cause^ for the flames ceaeed in. a moment or two, 
^and it was found that mad Jane Ray, after sweeping 
a little in the room beneath, had stuck a quantity of 
wet powder on the end of. hear broom, thrust it up 
through the hole in the ceiling into our apartment, 
and with a lighted paper set it on fire. 

The date of this alarm I must refer to a tihie soon 
after that pf the election riots j for I recollect that she 
found' means to get possession of some of the powder 
which was prepared at that time, for an emergency 
to which some thought the Convent was exposed. 
f.. She once asked for pen and paper, and when the 
Superior told her that if she wrote to her friends 
she must see it, she replied, that it was for no such 
purpose; she wanted to write her confession, and 
thus make it once for all. She wrote it, handed it 
to the priest, and he gave it to the Superior, who 
read it to us. It was fuU of oflences which she had 
never committed, evidently written to throw ridicule 
on confessions, and one of the most ludicrous pro- 
ductions I ever saw. 

Our bedsteads were made with narrow hoards 
laid across them, on which the beds were laid. 
One day, while we were in the bedchamber to- 
gether, she proposed that we should misplace these 
boards. This was done, so that at night nearly a doz- 
en nuns fell down upon the floor on getting into bed. 
A ffood deal of conf-iion naturally ensued, but the 

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SLACK HuiornY. 123 

authors were not discovered. I wad so conscieoce. 
dtricken, however, that a week afterward, while we 
exatninM our consci^ices together, I told her I 
must Confess the sin the next day. She replied, 
•* Do as you like, but you will be sorry foi it'* 

The next day, wheii we came before the Superior, 
I was just going to kneel and confess, when Jane, 
almost without giving me time to shut the door, 
threw herself at the Superior's feet, and confessed 
the trick) and a penance was immediately laid on 
me for the sin I had concealed. 

There was an old nun, who was a famous talker, 
whom We used to call La Mere, (Mother.) One 
night, Jane Kiy got up, and secretly changed the 
caps of several of the nuns, and hers among the 
rest. In the morning there was great confusion, 
and such a scene as seldom occurred. She was 
severely blamed by La M^re, having been informed 
against by some of the nuns ; and at last became so 
much enraged, that she attacked the old woman, 
and even took her by the throat. La Mere called 
on all present to come to her assistance, and seversd 
nuns interfered. Jane seized the opportunity afford- 
ed in the confusion, to beat some of her worst ene- 
mies quite severely, and afterward said, that she had 
intended to kill some of the rascally informers. 

For a time Jane made us laugh so much at pray- 
ers, that the Superior forbade her going down with 
us to morning prayers ; and she took the opportu- 
nity to sleep in the morning. When this was found 
out, she was forbid^en^ to get into her bed again 

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124 BhKCt NVliNSB.Y, 

f^er leaving it^ and thai she would creep und«ir it 
and take a nap on the floor. This she told us of 
pne day, but threatened u? if we ever betrayed her. 
At length, she was missed at break^^ as s^e 
would sometimes oversleep h&r^el^ and the Superior 
began to be more strict, and always inquired, in the 
morning, whether Jane Ray was in her place. 
When the question was general, none of us an- 
swered; but when it was addressed to some nun 
near her by name, as, 

"Saint Eustace, is Jane Bay in her place?*' 
then we had to reply. 

Of all the scenes that occurred during my stay in 
the Convent, there was none which excited the de- 
light of Jane more than one which took place in the 
chapel one day at inass, though I never had any 
particular reason to suppose that she had brought it 

Some person, unknown to me to this day, had 
put some substance or other, of a most nauseous 
smell, into the hat of a b'ttle boy, who attended at 
the altar, and he, without observing the trick, put it 
upon his head. In the midst of the ceremonies he 
approached some of the nuns, who were almost suf-^ 
focated with the odour ; and as he occasionally mo- 
ved from place to place, some of them b^gan to beckon 
to him to stand farther o5^ and to hold their noses, 
with looks of disgust The boy was quite uncon- 
scious of the cause of the difliculty, and paid them 
no attention ; but the confusion soon became so great, 
through the distress of some, and the laughing of 

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-dtliers, &at the Superior nodtred the chrcumstaHce, 
•mid beckoned^ the boy to withdraw. All attempts, 
however, to engage ns in any work, prayer, or med-^ 
itttion, ^ere found inefibctmd. Wheneret the cit- 
eumi^nces in the ehapel eame to mind, we would 
laugh out We had got into such a state, that we coUld 
*ot easily restrain ourselves. Thfe Superior, yielding 
to necessity, allowed us recreation fofthe whole day. 
The^ Supetior used sdmetimes to send Jane to in- 
struct the novices in their English prayers. Sh^ 
would proceed to her taiA: with all seriousness ; "But 
soiuetirhes cJiose the most ridiculous, as well as ir- 
reverent passages, from songs, and other things, 
which she had before somewhere learnt, which 
would set us, who understood her, laughing. One 
of W thjrmes, I recollect, began with : 

** Tb^ Lord 0fioy«; Ipdk &QMiab«r% 

Upon this turkey hen." 

lane for a tixae slept opposite me, and often in the 
night "Would nse, unobserved, and slip into my bed, 
to talk, with 'me, whieh she did inu bw whisper, 
and return again with equal caution. 

She would tell ine of the tricks she had played, 
and such as she meditatc^d, and sometinies make me 
kugh so bud, that I had mtichto do in the mom- 
mg wi^ begging pardons, and doing penances. 

One winter's day, she was sent to light a fire ; 
but after i^e hkd done bo, remarked privately to 
some of us : •• My fingers were too cold — ^youTl see 
tf I do it again." 

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The>iiext: day, there was a gx^ stir ia the housji, 
because it was said that mad Jane Bay had been 
seized with a fit while making a fice, and she wm 
taken up apparei^y inaensible, and conveyed to- h^ 
bed. SpB complained to me^ who visked her in the 
course o{ the day, that she was likely to ji^arve^ as 
food was d^^ed her; and I was penn^94ed to. pin 
a Mocking under my dress, «id secrecy put food 
into it from the table. This I afterward cmrried to 
her, and relieved her wants. 

One of the things which I blamed Jane most b^ 
was a disposition to quarrel with any nun who seem- 
ed to bewinxuBg the &vx)ur of the Superior. She 
would never rest until she^d brought such a 01^ 
into some difficulty. 

We were allowed but little soap ; and Jane, wktn 
she found her supply nearly gone, would take the 
first piece she eevld find. One ^y there was a 
general search made for a large piece that was miss- 
ed; wheit^ soon afterlhadbeen se^h^ Jane Bay 
{)a8s^d me and slipped, it ipto iny pocket; she wa^ 
soon after searched heraeK end then secjtetly cama 
for It again. 

While I recall these particulars of our lumiiery, 
and. refer so oiten to the conduct and lanssuage of 
one of the nuns,! cannot speak of some thin^ 
which I believed or suspected* on account of my 
want of sufikient knowledge. But it is a pity you 
have not Jane Bay for a witness ; she knows many 
things of which I am ignorant. She must be in 
possession of &cts that should be known. Her l<Hig 

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|t» axMl of i^bae^viag t^iimyihing^^mrmthm^iaAdi^hm 
acqiiaijiAted w^tl^ tiuQga wUek vr(»il4b0 fa^eai^ wkk 
iatef^st I always feit i^ If she knew every tkii^ir. 
SliA^woiild often go imd Usteoi^ff look tkauxagli ibie 
CJCAcks into tiie Bnporieife kdobi* wJuIeaily of^e 
pxiestsifF^rieekM^eted wMi her,«v)d eottetimes wouU 
eome^teUjoewha^^w^iMsaed I&ltmyi^ 
bound to ^^&9fi m aucb quiee, 904 alwiijrs did ao. 

Sbe knew* however, that I onfy told k to the 
priest or to the Superior, wild irilloQl meOamAtg 
th^ m«^ of Qiy ji^i»riii«mt, which I wasntMber^ 
t0 wiil?h(^, so thi^ the WW nol finiad out. I dim 
said to^ h&r, ** Don't tell me. Jene, for I maettotAm 
ifc" Sl^woaldr^y: 

< *'lti&he^fer yeuto^GOnfef»iitthaaibaf me«'' I 
thus beeaqeie^ e^mt egsiast my wSl,'iiiibntied o£ 
AMi^eft^ ra^pesed bf the ad^re of ihem to be secret 

Jane iUy onee^ pt^n^oaded fliBB t» i«eaq;iftpaiiy her 
j^ the fikjpmojr's room, to hdiewi^ her itnder the 
•^ ^Mid await the ei^pearanfieof & vkater whom 
she expected, thi^ we 191^^ oi^eriiear wha;t paesed 
betwaentbeKn, We badbe^Io«^oonfieried,irii^ 
the gnp^riof came in alone and aatfor son^ tka^ 
-fFhm ht^nng sim ciigbt, detect ns in the stUkeas 
irhieh prevailed, we be^pi^ to fepentef our teataei^ 
ky. At length, howei!^, 1^ snddenfy witfadrew^' 
an4 thitS: afforded ya n wdbcane of^KJvtonity to 

I was passing one day through a put of the cel« 
lar» where I bad notoilen occasion to go, v^«a th» 

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tee^ of.BKji^oe hk sometUng. X trifled mdM 
dewn. I lose again, ^ad hotdiag my lamp to «ee 
idiat had <»uaed m j &11, I found an iiron ting, 
fiKBtoied to a small sqciare trapdoor. ' This I had 
Ae cmioaity to raiee, and stfw four or five steps 
feadngdo^, hot tkeve was iiot lig^t ^loogh to see 
mofOy aa^ I £3a#ed td be' noticed by sonlebody and 
repoiMd to the Stipefior ; ao ekeilig the door again, 
I left the spot At fivst, I oould Bot imagine the 
use Ibr such» passage ; but it afterward oecurred to 
9iei that 4his nnght open to the subterranean p»^ 
sage* to 4he -Seminary, for 1 ne^i^ar before could ac« 
ei^mt for-the appearance of mimy of the priests, 
who often i^peared and disappeared amcmgtis, par- 
ticularly at night, wh^i I knew the gates were 
closed. ^ They could^ as I new saw, come up to the 
door «f. the Superior^ romnat any hour, then up 
the stakSs into-^mr i^es}>ing*tio^m, or =where*^ey 
ehose. AfiAxAok tfaay were in <>ar beda befo^ us. 

I aftetwafd ascertained "that my ton^tures were 
correct,. ^Emd' that a seeret eomnmnica^ion was kejpi 
ttp^iii thirmmmer, between the two institutions, ax 
the end towards N^dtre Dame-afireet, at a <M>i^siderable 
<^yth under ground. • I oftcm, afterward, met priests 
in the cellar, when seht there for coal and other 
Ipdicles, as ^ey had to pass up and down the com* 
mon ceUar-stahns on Aeir way. 

My wearisome daAyi^myeia and labouw, ray 
^in of body, and depression of mind, which wer^ so 
much increased by prances I had suf^ed, and those 
which I constantly feared, and the feelings of shame, 

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me to a state wbidr I cannot describe. 
- jbi, the first pbee, my fnuaott tnis en&eUad by Ibe 
lamtagy.po9tax»s i wfts ne^iffiNMi w keep for so Jong 
a tanietkormg ^^TBymn. This akne I thoiifht wa* 
flufficiHiit to undej^sine KDyihefdtfa and deetcoy my 
life. . An hour and ft Half every moxaiag I ludi^ 
sit o& the flodc of d» oonmumky-room, with Bay 
feet urtder me, my body bent forward, aad my hsaA 
hmH^^aag on one Tsider-niBa ^paotvore eiq^ressm of 
jfpnot hamflity^ it is true, bat very fiitigi^g to ke^ 
l^auch^te iiBfeaaenaUe.kngth.ef tiooEa Often I 
Suasai it iinpoesiUe ta avoid iftUing asleep in diis 
jgK0mie, 'W^akrl tmM 4o Tntfaoat detection, by-* 
bending a little lower than usual. Tht signal to 
me, or the noise made bylha rising ef the other 
ssu&B, then mokeBi^ w^ I got up iwiththefest xuk- 

^ BdEnewe^Qsk^epoiAnre just described, we had 
to kneel for a kng iisie witfaoitt bending the body, 
ll^iq^ing <|inte erects ir^ ihb asoepdoa of &t knees 
«iily, :ii9^h Ab hands together b^Jte the breast 
This I fomid the ttont dniresnatgatdtade fer me, 
mmd never «Bsamed k withnit fesUng a sharp feia 
in jay ehestr which I uttai^tEat^ woqU spoalMbd 
aiie1o»iygxa;re««.thatiar^thegieift>oemm0n reeep^ 
tacle for the desid, mtder the cbapeL JLnd this up* 
ligi]^ kacotoif pestaoPB we were oUigod to resnme 
a» soon Jtts vie roeefam^tfaehaJfskfiffigpostnrB first 
tnetitioiiid; mo that VwnMj felt fliysdf exhausted 

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130 BtA«K MJtf^Wtf, 

HOi mkr^'Maikkg^ befere the conciittktt of : 
ing services. 

• t 'Ibtttid: tiie medttstioiis ejAtemeLy tedious,, ind 
aieii did I aiakrinto sie^ while ^e were all seated 
in nileaee <m Jthe ioor When required to teU mj 
laaieditatio&s, as it was dioughl to be of no greet imr 
fDitanoe.what we said, I som^imes ibund I had 
nothing to tell bm a dreamv taA told thaty which 
^^essed off very' w^l. 

hme Rf^ appeared to be trotUed'Still mpre thaa 
mysdf with wondermg thonghta; and w^en blamed 
£)P them, would nsfky, ** I be|§^ very w»U ; but di^ 
retily I begin to think of some old frigid of nane, 
and my ihongte^go a-nmndferiiiig Irom (me conairy 

Sometimes I confessed my.&lltng aaleq>; «tid 
often the priests haretsSk^ tome about the »» of 
sleeping in time of meditation. At last, one of them 
^proposed to me to prick my»^If w&h a pin, which I 
have often d6ne,-«iid so rouaedmyself fcff a time, r 

My cliDSe eonfineaieDt in the Convent, and th^ 
want of oppoctumtiea :to breathe the open air, might 
haye proved more injuriouB to md than tiiey did, 
iitd I not hema employed a part itf my time-ia more 
active labours thui those of sewing, &c., to which 1 
waB chiefly -confined. I took part oocanoaally in 
•some of di^ heavy wori£,«a ^^rashihg, <&c. 

The evcBts whiefa 1 am mowAa relate^ occurred 
about five moBihis aft^ my admission into-the Coft- 
weox BSJBL nun^ but^ I etiDnot fix the time with pvft* 
cision, as I know not of any thing which took place 

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mt&fm NVKHBRTK 131 

in the wof U dbdnt the stme p^iod. The eirciim- 
stejiceft I clearly remember; but/ as I have ctee- 
mk&^ iPei9^£ked, we vmre not aecustbmed te keep 
any Account of tima 

Informatbn was given to tis one day, that an- 
other noviee yrna to be acknitted among us ; and we 
were i?equired to. remember sm^ mention her often 
m our prayers^ that she migto have Mthfulneas iit 
the service ctf her holy «pouse. No information 
was giv^^; concerning her beymrd this fett: not 
a word about hen age, name, or nation. On aH 
anmilar occasbns the same course was pursued, aiid 
all that ibe irnns ever learnt concearning one another 
was what they might discov^ by beings tog^her, 
a»d which usiMiUy amounted to Httle or n<rthing. 

When the day of her admission-arrived, though 
I did not witness the ceremony in the €hapel>.4t was 
a ^2M:ificatioii to «s a^U on one account, beeauite we 
w»e always released from kbc^r^and eii(ftjyed a 
g^eat recreajtion-day. 

Our new sister, whett she was introduced to the 
♦* holy" society of us " saintsi^' proved to b^ young,' 
<rf abo«rt the middle size,, and very good-looldng for 
a Canadian; for I soon ascerteiiiaed that she was 
one of my own countrywomen. Tlie Canadian fe- 
males are generally not handsome. I never leaint 
her n«ane, nor any thing of her history. She hid 
chosen Saint Martin for her nun name. She ^Jvas 
admitted in the morning, and i^peared melancholy 
all day. This I observed was always the case; 
mi the remarks made by others, led mo to believe 

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1^ ttMec iivxii«aY> 

Uif^ thft3& and m tfaey h«d «een, bad lok ttidl attd 
mberaUe for ft longer or abotter time. Et«i^ tjbe 
Siipmor, ms it may be recollected, co nfe t cwgd to me 
that she had experienced the same ^elingt wheXl 
9^9 vaa received. When bedtime arriTed, the pro- 
ceeded to the chamber with the rest of us, and waa 
assigned a bed on the side of the room opponte my 
own» and a I^le beyond. The irans were all soon 
in bed, the umal silence ensued, and I wtti making 
my customary mental prayer and compoai&g myself 
to steep, wh^m 1 heard the most piercing and'hear^ 
tendiBg shrieks proceed horn our new comrade. 
Every nun seemed to rise as if by one impulse, for 
no one co^ hear such soun^ espedally in such 
total silenoe, wHhout being greatly excited. A gen^ 
eral ndise succeeded, for many voices spoke together, 
uttering eiries of surprise, compassion, or fear. It 
was in rain fu ^ nt^t-watck to esqpect silaoce: 
for oaee we forgot rules and penances, «nd gaye 
vent to our feelings, and she could do nothing but 
caH for the Superior. Strange as it may seem, mad 
Jane Ray, who found an opportunity to make her- 
self heard^for an instant, uttered an exclamation in 
English, which so &r from expres^g any sympathy 
for the sufferer, seemed to betray feeliage hardened 
to the last degree against conscience and shame. 
This caused a laugh among some of those who un- 
derstood her, ai^ had become hardened to their 
own trials, and of course in a great measure to those- 
of others. 
1 heard a raan^s v: ice mingled with the cries and 

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riiridkft of ihe nun. Father doiblier, of the Semh 
nftfy» I had feh confident, was in the Sapenor^i 
room at the time when we retired ; and several of 
the nuns afterward assured me that it was he. The 
Superior soon made her appearance, and in a harsh 
manner commanded silence. I heard her threaten 
gagging her, and then say, ** You are no better than 
anybody else, and if you do not obey, you shall be 
sent to the cells." 

One young girl was taken into the Convent du- 
ring my abode there, under peculiar circumstances. 
I WMB acquainted with the whole affiur, as I was 
employed to act a part in it. 
. Among the novices, was a young lady of about 
seventeen, the daughter of an old rich Canadian. 
She had been remarkable for nothing that I know 
oC except the liveliness of her disposition. The 
Superior once expressed to us a wish to have her 
t»ke the veil, though the girl herself had never had 
uny such intention, that I knew of. Why the Supe^ 
rior wished to receive her, I could only conjecture. 
One reason might have been, that she expected to 
receive a considerable sum from her iather. She 
wts, however, strongly desirous of having the girl 
in our community, and one day said : "* Let ns takt 
her in by a trick, and tell the old man she felt too 
Itumble toiake the veil in public." 

Our plans then being kid, the iMtsuspecting giil 

was induced by us, in sport, as we told her, and 

made her brieve, to put on aaxk a splendid robe as 

I had worn on my admission, and to fnm through 


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some of the ceremoDies of taking the reil. After 
this, she was seriously informed, that she was con* 
sidered as having entered the Convent in earnest, 
and must henceforth bury herself to the world, as 
she would never be allowed to leave it. We put on 
her a nun's dress, though she wept, and refused, 
and eiqpressed the greatest repugnance. The Supe- 
rior threatened, and promised, and flattered, by 
turns, until the poor girl had to submit ; but her ap* 
pearaace long showed that she was a nun only by 

In obedience to the directions of the Superior, 
we exerted ourselves to make her contented, espe- 
cially when she was first received, when we got 
round her, and told her we had felt so for a time, 
but having since become acquainted with the hap- 
piness of a nun's life, were perfectly content, and 
would never be willing to leave the Convent An 
exception seemed to be made in her favour, in one 
respect : for I believe no criminal attempt \vas made 
upon her, until she had been for some time an in- 
mate of the nunnery. 

Soon after her reception, or rather her forcible 
entry into the Convent, her father called to make 
inquiry about his daughter. The Superior first 
spoke with him herself and then called us to repeat 
her plausible story, which I did with accuracy. If 
I had wished to say any thing else, I never should 
have dared. 

We told the foolish old man, that his daughter, 
whom we all affectionately loved, had long desired 

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to become a Nun, but had been too humble to wish 
to appear before spectators, and had, at her own de- 
sire, been favoured with a private admission into 
the community. 

The benefit conferred upon himself and his fami- 
ly, by this act of seli-consecration, I reminded him, 
must be truly great and valuable ; as every fimiily 
which furnishes a priest, or a nun, is justly looked 
upon as receiving the peculiar favour of heaven on 
that account. The old Canadian firmly believed 
every word I was forced to tell him, took the event 
as a great blessing, and expressed the greatest 
readiness to pay more than the custcmiary fee to 
the Convent. After the interview, he withdrew, 
{>romising soon to return and pay a handsome sum 
to the convent, which he performed with all des- 
patch, and the greatest cheerfulness. The poor 
girl never heard that her father had taken the trou- 
ble to call to see her« much less did she know any 
thing of the imposition passed upon him. She re- 
mained in the Convent when I lefl it. 

The youngest girl who ever took the veil of our 
sisterhood, was only fourteen years of age, and 
considered very pious. She lived but a short time. 
I was told that she was ill-treated by the priests^ 
and believed her death was in consequence. 

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Itijhteneing NoviceM—-DiJlcuUy of convincing Pertont Jrom 
the UniUd StatcB—TaU qf the Bishop in the CWy— 7^ 
Bishop in the Qmtent—TTu Prieonere in the CeUtr-Prac 
tice in Singing-^ NarraHvea — Jane Ra^a Hymne^Tlie 
Superior' 8 beet Trick, 

It was considered a great duty to exert ourselyes 
to influence novices in favour of the Roman Cath- 
olic religion ; and different nuns were, at difierent 
times, charged to do what they could, by conversa- 
tion, to make &vourable impressions on the minds 
of some, who were particularly indicated to us by 
the Superior. I otten heard it remarked, that those 
who were influenced with the greatest difficulty, 
were young ladies from the United States ; and on 
some of those, great exertions were made. 

Case3 in which citizens of the States were said 
to have been converted to the Roman Catholic fidth, 
we^e sometimes spoken of, and always as if they 
were considered highly important. 

The Bishop, as we were told, was on the public 
square^ on the day of an execution, when, as he 
said, a stranger looked at him in some peculiar 
manner, which made him confidently believe Qoi 
intended to have him converted by his means. 
When he went home, he wrote a letter for him, 
and the next day found him again in the same 
place, and gave him the letter, which led te his be- 

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eommg a Soman CathoUe. This man» i^ was 
added, proved to be a citizen of the, States. 

The Bishop, as t have remarked, was not very 
dignified on all occasions, and sometimes acted in 
such a manner as would not have appeared well in 

One day I saw him preparing for mass ; and be- 
cause he had some difficulty in getting on his robe, 
showed evident signs of anger. One of the nuns 
remarked : ** The Bishop is going to perform a pas- 
sionate mass.'' Some of the others exclaimed : ** Are 
you not ashamed to speak so of my lord V* And 
she was rewarded with a penance. 

But it might be hoped that the Bishop would be 
free from the crimes of which I have declared so 
many priests to have been guilty. I am &r from 
entertaining such charitable opinions of him ; and 
I had good reasons, after a time. 

I was often required to sleep on a sofa, in the 
room of the present Superior, as I may have alrea- 
dy mentioried. 

One night, not long after I was first introduced 
there, for that purpose, and within the first twelve 
months of my wearing the veil, having retired as 
usual, at about half-past nine, not long after we had 
got into bed, the alarm-bell from without, which 
hangs over the Superior's bed, was rung. She told 
me to see who was there ; and going down, I heard 
the signal given, which I have before mentioned, a 
peculiar kind of hissing sound made through the 
teeth. I answered with a low, •• Hum — ^hum ;" and 

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then opened the door. It was Bishop Larticpe, tbcf 
present Bishop of Montreal. He said to me, "Are 
yon a Novice or a Received V* meaning a Received . 
nun. I answered a *• Received." 

He then requested me to conduct him to the Su- 
perior's room, which I did. He went to the hed^ 
drew the curtains hehind him, and I lay down again 
upon the so&, until morning, when the Superior 
called me, at an early hour, ahout daylight, and di- 
rected me to show him the door, to which I con- 
ducted him, and he took his departure. 

I continued to visit the cellar frequently, to carry 
up coal for the fires, without any thing more than . 
a general impression that there were two nuns some- 
where imprisoned in it. One day while there on 
my usual errand, I saw a nun standing on the right 
of the cellar, in front of one of the cell doors I had 
before observed ; she was apparently engaged with 
something within. This attracted my attention. 
The door appeared to close in a small recess, and 
was &stened with a stout iron bolt on the outside^ 
the end of which was secured by being let into a 
hole in fhe stone-work which formed the posts. 
The door, which was of wood, was sunk a few 
inches beyond the stone-work, which rose and form- 
ed an arch overhead. Above the bolt was a small 
window supplied with a fine grating, which swung 
open, a small bolt having been removed from it, on 
l&e outside. The nun I had observed seemed to be 
whispering with some person within, through the 
little window: but Iliastenedto get my coal, and left 

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vuloil MumiBitT. 139 

^ beiker, premimlngr tfatt wm the prison. When 
I visited the place again, heing alone, I ventured to 
the spot, determiaei to leam the truth, presuming 
that the imprisoned nsns, of whom the Superior 
had told im on my aidmission, were confined there. 
I spoils at Uie window where I had seen the nun 
standing, and heard 4l voice reply in a whisper. 
The aperture was so «mall, and the place so dark, 
that I tcotild see nobody ; but I learnt thsl a poor 
wretch was confined there a prisoner. I feared 
that I might be discovered, and aft^ a few words, 
"which I thought could do no harm, I withdrew. 

My curiosity was now alive, to leam every thing 
I could abottt^o my^erious a subject. I made a few 
inquiries of Saint Xffivier, who only informed me 
^that they were punished for refusing to obey the 
•Superior, ^shep, and Priests. I afterward found 
^that the 'other mms were acquainted wkh the fact 
I had ju«tt discovered. All I^ould leam, however, 
*was, that the prisoner in the cell whom I had 
spoken with, aftd another in the cell just beyond, 
•had been confined there several years without 
^having heea taken out ; but their names, connex- 
ions, offences, and every thing else relating to them, 
3 could never learn, and am still as ignorant of as 
<ever. Some conjectured that they had refused to 
eomply with some of the mles of the Convent or 
requbllsons of the Superior; others, that they were 
heiresses whose property was desired for the Con- 
vent, and who would not consent to sign deeds of it. 
Boaie of Ifae nuns in^iarmed me,*that the severest of 

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their suSsnagB arose fiNHn ftar of tupemttuciif 

I often spoke with one oi thi&m m> passing near 
their cells, when on errands in the eeUar, but never 
ventured to stop long, or to press my mquiries very 
far. Besides, I found her reserved, and little dis- 
posed to converse freely,, a thing I could not wod- 
der at when I considered* her situation, and Uie char- 
acters of persons around her. She spoke like a 
woman in feeble health, and ef broken spirits. I 
occasionaHy saw other nuns speaking to them, pei^ 
ticularly at meakimes^ when they were regularly 
furnished with food, which was such a» we our- 
selves atOc 

Their cells were occasionally cleaned, and then 
the doors were opened. I never looked into them; 
but was informed that the ground was their only 
floor. I presumed that they were furnished with 
straw to lie upon, as I always saw a quantity of old 
straw scattered about that part of the cellar, afier the 
cells had been cleansed. I once inc^ired of one of 
them, whether they could converse together, and 
she replied that they could^ through a small opet^ 
ing b^ween their cells, which I could not see. 

I once inquired of the one I spoke with in pass- 
ing, whether she wanted any thing, and she replied, 
** Tell Jane Ray I want to see her a moment if she 
can slip away." When I went up I took an oppor- 
tunity to deliver my mesj^eiige to Jane, who concert* 
ed with me a signal to be used in future, in case a 
similar request shAild be made through mo. This 

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IMS a «ly wkk ^ h€t wi^ <>tie eye, adcomptnied 
with a slight toss of my head, fihe then sought an 
opportunity to visit the cellar, and was soon able to 
hold an interview with the poor prisoners, without 
being noticed by any one hut myselC I after 9eard 
learnt that mad Jane Ray was not so mad, but she 
trould feel fer those misenMe beings, and carry 
through measures for their comfort. She would 
often visit ^em with sympathieing words, and, 
when necessary, conceal part of her food while at 
^ble, and secret^ convey it into their dungeons. 
Sometimes we would combine for such an object; 
and I have repeatedly aided 'lier in thus obtainmg 
a larger supply of food than they had been ablu to 
.obtain from others. 

I frequently thought of the two nuns confined in 
the cells, and occasionally heard something said 
•about them, but very little. Whenever I visited the 
cellar, and thou^it safe, I went up to the first of 
them and spoke a word or *two, and usually got 
some brief w^ly, without ascertaining that any 
.particular change took place with either oif them. 
The one with whom alone I ever conversed, spoke 
English perfectly well, and French I thought as 
well Isapposed she must^ve been well educa- 
ted, for I could not tell which was her native lan- 
guage. I remember diat she frequently used these 
mrords ^en I wished to say more to her, and which 
;ialone showed that she was constantly afraid of pun- 
iduaent: *<0h, there's somebody coimng — do go 

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awajP I.have been told that tke other prieooer 
also spoke English. 

It was impossible &t me ta fonn< any ceitaia 
opinion about the si^ or appearance of those two 
miserable creatures, for their cells were perfectly 
dark,, and I never caught the slightest glimpse even 
of their &ces. It iaprobaUe they were women not 
above the middle size,, and my reason for this pre- 
sumption is the following: I was sometimea apr 
pointed to lay out the clean clothes for all the nuns 
in the Convent on Saturday evening, and was al- 
ways directed to lay by two suits for the prisoners. 
Particular orders were given to select the larg^ 
sized garmenta for several tall nuns ; but nothing of 
the kind was ever said in relation to the clothea for 
those in the cells, 

I had not been long a veiled nun,, before I requeatr 
ed of the Superior permission to confess to the 
"Saint Bon PasteurJ' (Holy Good Shepherd,^ that 
is, the mysterious and. nameless nun whom I had 
heard of while a novice. I knew of several othecf 
who had con^sed to her at different times, and of 
some who had sent their clothes to be touched by 
hsT^ when they were sick; and I felt a desire to uo- 
burden my heart of certain thing3», which I was 
loath ta acknowledge to the Superior^ or any of the 

The Superior made me wait a little, until she 
could ascertain whether the ** Saint Bon Pasteur** 
was ready to admit me j and after a time retume4 
and told me to en^^r the oM nuns' room. Hbak 

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^iqi^Ttnieint has twelve beds, arranged like the berths 
of a ship, by threes; and as each is broad enough 
t9 receive two persons, twenty-four may be lodged 
there, which was about the number ^f old nuns in 
the Convent during most of my stay in it. Near 
an opposite ^corner of the apaitment was a large 
j^lass case, with no appearance of a door, or other 
opening, in any pait of it ; and in that case stood 
the i^eneralile nun, in the dress of the cominmnity, 
with her thick veil spread over her face, so as to 
conceal it entirdy. She was standing, fox the place 
did not allow room for sitting, and moved a little, 
which was the only sign of life, as she did not 
apeak. I Mi upon my knees before her, and began 
to confess some of my imperfections, which lay 
heavy upon my mind, imploring her aid and inter- 
cession, that I might be delivered from them. She 
appeared to listen to me with patience, but still nevsr 
returned a word in reply. I became much affected 
as I went on, and at length began •to weep bitterly ; 
and when I withdrew, was in tears. It seemed to 
me that my heart was remarkably relieved after this 
exercise, and all the requests I had made, I found, 
as i believed, strictly fulfilled. I oflen, afterward, 
visited the old nuns' room for the same purpose, and 
with similar results, «o that my belief in the sanctity 
of the nameless nun, and my regard for her inter- 
cession, were unbounded. 

What IB remarkable, though i repeatedly was 
sent into that nxym to dust it^ or to put it in order, 
I remarked that the glass case was vacant, and no 

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signs wers to be feuml ekb^ of the nun or of tW 
way by which she had left it j so that a solemn con- 
clusion rested upon my mind, that she had gone on 
QBi^e c^ her frequent visits to heaven. 

A priest would sometimes come in the daytime to 
teach us |q sinrg, and this waa done with some pa- 
rade or stir, Oi if it were consi&red, of meant to be 
considered, as a thing of importance. 

The instructions, however, w^e ei^tirely repe- 
titions of the words apd tunes, nothing being taught 
even o£ the first principles of the seienee, it ap- 
peared to mor that ahbrough hymns alone were 
sung, the exercise was ct^efiy desijgned for oar 
amusement, to raise our ^irits a little, which ware 
1^ to become depressed. Mad Jane Bay certainly 
usually treated the whole thiftg as a matter d* sporty 
aod often excited those of us who undersCoed Ei^- 
lish to a great degree of mirth. She had a v^ry 
fine voice, which was so powerfel as generafly to*^ 
be heard above the rest Sometimes she would be 
silent when the other nuns begsn ; and the Supe- 
rior would often call out, "Jane Ray, you don't 
sing." She always had some trifling excuse ready,« 
and commonly appeared unwilling to join the rest 

After being urged or commanded by the Superior, 
she would then strike up some English song, or 
proftme parody, which was rendered ten times more 
ridiculous by the ignorance of the Lady Superior 
and the majority of the iiws. I camaot help laugh- 
ing now when I remember how ebs us^ 'iojtfutfi 
with parftet e<mipoeure md sing^ 

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^ ^ ^I WtiiLI was ntttrried and notiifftg to roA, 
MftA pleat jf of mo&ey and notfaiBg to do." 

•< Jttie Ray* y<Jtt don^t sing right,'/ the Siip«aot 
would exclaim. ** Oh," ifce would xqply, with per* 
ie^ oooluess, «* thiA |9 the English ibr, 

* Seigneur Dieu de clemeQcOi 
Regots ce grand pfcheur;^' ' 

and, aa sung by her, a person ignorant of the Ian* • 
guage would naturally be imposed upon. It was 
extremely difficult for me to conceal my laughter. 
I have always had gr«teter exertion to make in re* 
pressing k than most (Hher persons ; and mad Jane 
Ray often took advantage of thift 

Saturday evening usually brought with it much 
unpleasant woft for some of us. We recdlved the 
Sacramenf ev^^y Sunday ; and in preparation for it, 
on Saturday evening we asked pardon of the Supe- 
rior and of each other .^*for the scandal we ^ad 
<»ufted them since we last received the Sacrament,*' 
and then asked the Superior's perinissJon to receive 
it on the following 4ay. She Inquired of each nun 
^ko necessadly a$ked her permission, whether she, 
V)am|tig her as Saint somebody, had concealed any 
s^ that should hinder her receiving it; and if the 
tuftswer was in the negative, she granted her per- 

On Saturdays we were catechised by a priest, 
being assembled in a community-room. He sat on 
the right <rf the door in a chair. He often told 
US stories, and frequently enlarged on the duty of 
enticing novices into the nunnery. ;«*I>9 y#tt xW 

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feel happy," he would say, ''now that you aire safely 
out of the world, and sure of heaveu ? Biit remem* 
ber how many poor people are yet in the world. 
J^irery novice you influwce to take the Uack veil, 
will add to your honour in heaven. Tdl them how 
happy you are." •» 

The Superior played one trick while I was in the 
Convent, which always passed for one of the most 
admirable she ever carried into execution. We 
< were pretty good judges in a case of this kind, for, 
as may be presumed, we were rendered familiar 
with the arts of deception imder so accomplished a 

There was an ornament on hand in the nunnery, 
of an extraordinary kind, which was prized at ten 
pounds ; but it had been made and e;cpoeed to view 
80 long, diat it became damaged and quite unsalea- 
ble. We were one day visited by an old priest 
from the country, who was evidwtly somewluU in* 
toxicated ; and as he withdrew to go to his lodging^ 
in the Seminary, where the country priests pfien 
stay, the Superior conqsived a plan for disposing of 
the old ornament. " Come," said she, •* we will 
send it to the old priest, and swear he has bought it I" 

We all approved of the ingenious device, for it 
evidently might be classed among the pious frauds 
we had so often had recommended to us both by pre- 
c^ and example; and the ornament was sent to 
him the next morningi as his property when paid 
for. H^ soon came into the Conv^ and expressed 
the graali>sst surprise that he had befln charged with 

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porefaanng such a thing, for which ha had no need 
and no desire. 

The Superior heard his declaridion with patience, 
but politely insisted that it .was a fidr bargain ; and 
we then surroimded the old priest, with the strongest 
assertions that such was the fact, and that nobody 
would oyer have thought of his purchasing it un- 
less he had expressly engaged to take it. The poor 
old man was entirely put down. He was certain 
of the truth : but what could he do to resist or dis- 
prove a direct &lsehood pronounced by die Supe- 
rior of a Convent, and sworn to by all her holy 
nuns 9 He finally expressed his conviction that we 
were right : he was compelled to pay his money. 

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Ml)r9guif^<lf iK« Priests' Vi9U9 torn* I^hmTient^ 
dom and Crimss — Difficulty qf learning tfmr Namtt— 
Their Holy Retreat^ ObjeeHons in our minds^Means wed 
4o amnieract Conseitnee—Ingenimtt ArgnnunU. 

Soxs of the priests from the Seminary were ia 
the nunnery every day and night, and often several 
ttt a time. I have seen nearly all of them at dif- 
ferent tiipes, though there are about one hundred 
and fifty in the district of Montreal. There was a 
difference in their conduct ; though I believe every 
one of them was guilty of licentiousness; while 
not one did I ever see who maintained a character 
ftny way becoming the profession of a priest. Some 
were gross an^degraded in a degree which few of 
my leaders can ever have inutgined ; and I should 
be unwilling to offend the eye, and corrupt the heart 
of any one» by an account of their words and ac- 
tions. Few imaginations can conceive deeds so 
abominable as they practised* and often required of 
lK>me of the poor women, under the fear of severe 
punishments, and even of death. I do not he^tate 
to say with the strongest confidence, ^at although 
some of the nuns became lost to every sentiment of 
virtue and honour, especially one from the Congre- 
gational Nunaery whom I have before mentioned^ 
Saint Patrick, the greater part of them loathed the 
practices to which th6y wenfe compelled to submit 

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by the Superior and priests, who kept them under so 
dreaditd a bondage. 

Some of the priests whom I saw I never knew 
byname, and the names of others I did not learn for 
a time, and at last learnt only by accident 

They were always called ** Mon pere," my fiither ; 
but iiometimes, when they had purchased some- 
thing in the ornament-room, they would give their 
real names, with directions where it should be sent. 
Many names, thus learnt, and in other ways, were 
whispered about from nun to nun, and became pret- 
ty generally known. Several of the priests, some 
of us had seen before we entered the Convent. 

Many things of which I speak, from the nature 
of the case, must necessarily rest chiefly upon my 
Own word, until ftirther evidence can be obtained : 
but there are some &cts for which I can appeal to 
the knowledge of others. It is commonly known 
in Montreal that some of the priests occasionally 
withdraw from their customary employments, and 
are not to be seen for some time, it being understood 
that they have retired for religious study, medita 
tion, and devotion, for the improvement of their 
hearts. Sometimes they are thus withdrawn from 
the world for weeks: but there is no fixed period. 

This was a fact I knew before I took the veil ; 
for it is a frequent subject of remark, that such or 
such a Father is on a "holy retreat." This is a term 
which conveys the idea of a religious seclusion 
from the world for sacred" purposes. On the re- 
appearance of a priest after such a period, in the 

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100 , BLACX MlfirilBAT 

eimreh or the streets, it is natural to f^ei a pecqinur 
impression of his devout character — an impression^ 
rery difierent from that conveyed to the mind of one 
who knows matters as they really are. Suspicions^ 
have heen indulged hy some in Canada on this sub* 
ject, and facts are known by at least a lew. I am 
able to speak from personal knowledge : for I haYO 
been a nun of Soeur Bourgeoise. 

The priests are liable, by their dissolute habits, to 
cccasioi»tl attacks of disease, which render it neces- 
sary, or at least prudent, to submit to medical treat- 

In the Black Nunnery they find private accommo- 
dations, £>r they are free to enter one of the private 
hospitals whenever they please ; which is a room 
set apart on purpose for the accommodation of the 
priests, and is called a retreat-room. But an excuse 
is necessary to blind the public, and this they find 
in the pretence they make of being in a ** Holy 
Retreat'* IVIany such cases have I known ; and I 
can mention the names of priests who have been con- 
fined in this Holy Retreat. They are very carefully 
attended by the Superior and old nuns, and their diet 
mostly consists of vegetable soups, &c. with but lit- 
tle meat, and that fresh. I have seen an instrument 
of surgery laying upon the tabled in that holy room, 
which is used only for particular purposes. 

Father Tabeau, a Roman priest, was on one of 
his h(dy retreats about the time when I left the 
mumery. There are sometimes a number oonfined 


9^4<» NUNHBRT. 191 

Ihere ^ the same time. The victims of these priests 
frequently share the same &te. 
^ I have often reflected how griavously I had been 
deceived in my opinions of a nun's condition ! All 
the holiness of their lives, I now saw, v^ras merely 
pr^ended. The appearance of sanctity and heaven- 
ly mindedness which they had shown among us nov- 
ices, I found was only a disguise to conceal such 
practices as would not be tolerated in any decent 
society in the world ^ and as for peace and joy 
like that of heaven, which I had expected to find 
among them» I learnt too well that they did not 
exist there. 

The only way in which such thoughts were coun- 
teracted, was by the constant instructions given us by 
the Superior and prints, to regard every doubt as a 
mortal sin. Other faults we might have, as we were 
tpld over and over again, which, though worthy of 
penances, were far less sinful than these. For a 
nun to doubt that she was doing her duty in fulfilling 
her vows and oaths, was a heinous ofi!ence, and we 
were exhorted always to suppress our doubts, to 
confess them without reserve, and cheerfully to sub- 
mit to severe penances on account of th^^Ei^ as the 
only means of mortifying our evil dispositions, and 
resisting the temptations of the devil. Thus we 
learnt in a good degree to resist our minds and con- 
sciences, when we felt the first rising of a question 
abdut the duty of doing any thing required of us. 

To enforce this upon us, they employed various 
means. Some of the most striking stones told u« 

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at cateclusm by the priests, were designed for thit 
end. One of these I will repeat One day, at 
a priest assured us who was hearing us say the cat- 
echism on Saturday afternoon, as one Monsieur 
• • • •, a well-known citizen of Montreal, was 
walking near the cathedral, he saw Satan giving 
orders to numerous evil spirits who had assembled 
around him. Being afraid of being seen, and yet 
wishing to observe what was done, he hid himself 
where he could observe all that passed. Satan des- 
patched his devils to different parts of the city, with 
directions to do their best for him; and they return- 
ed in a short time, bringing in reports of their suc- 
cess in leading persons of different classes to the 
commission of various sins, which they thought 
would be agreeable to their master. Satan, however, 
expressed his dissatisfaction, and ordered them out 
again ; but just then a spirit from the Black Nun- 
nery came, who had not been seen before, and stated 
that he had been trying for seven years to persuade 
one of the nuns to doubt, and had just succeeded. 
Satan received the intelligence with the highest 
pleasure; and turning to the spirits around him, 
said : ** You have not half done your work — ^he has 
done much more than all of you.^ 

In spite, however, of our instructions and warn- 
ings, our fears and penances, such doubts would in- 
trude ; and I have often indulged them for a time, 
and at length, yielding to the belief that I was wrong 
in giving place to them, would confess them, and 
undergo with cheerfulness such new penances as I 

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xn.9 iosid«4 with. Others too wouVl ocefusipnally 
^ptertaiu ftnd privatdy express such doubts ; though 
we all had been most solemnly warned by the cruel 
murder of Saint Francis. Occasionally some of 
the nuns would ga further, and resist the restraints 
oar punishments imposed upon them; and it was 
not uncommon to hear screams, sometimes of a 
most piercing and terrific kind, from nuns suffering 
under discipline. ► 

Some of my readers may feel disposed to exclaim 
ag^iinst me, for believing things, which will strike 
them as so monstrous and abominable. To such, I 
would say, without pretending to justify myself — 
You know little of the position in which I was 
l^ced: in the first place, ignorant of any other re- 
ligious doctrines ; and in the second, met at every 
moment by some ingenious argument, and the ex- 
ample of a large community, who received all the 
instructions of the priests as of undoubted truth, and 
practised upon them. Of the variety and specious- 
ness of the arguments used, you cannot have any 
correct idea. They were oflen so ready with re- 
plies, examples, anecdotes, and authorities, to enforce 
their doctrines, that it seemed tome they could never 
have learnt it all from books, but must have been 
taught by wicked spirits. Indeed, when I reflect 
upon their conversations, I am astonished at their 
art and address, and find it difficuh to account for 
their subtlety and success in influencing my mind, 
and persuading me to any thing they pleased. It 
seems to me, that hardly anybody would be safe in 

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tbeir hands. If you were to go to confession twice, 
I believe you would feel very differently from what 
you do now. They have such a way of avoiding 
one thing, and speaking of another, of affirming this, 
and doubting or disputing that, of quoting authori- 
ties, and speaking of wonders and miracles recently 
performed, in confirmation of what they teach, as 
fiimiliarly known to persons whom they call by 
name, and whom they pretend to o^r as witnesses, 
though they never give you an opportunity to speak 
with them — ^these, and many other means, they 
use in such a way, that they always blinded my 
mind, and, I should think, would blind the minds 
of others. 

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Treaimml qf young b\fanU in the Convtni-^ Talking in 
i^ep— Amusements^ C&remonits at the public interment qf 
deceased Nuns — Sudden disappearance qf the Old Superior 
— Introduction qf the new oner- Superstition-^ Alarm qf a 
Nun—Diffi'CuUy qf Comniunicaiion with other Nuns. 

It will be recollected, that I was informed im- 
mediately after receiving the veil, that infants were 
occasionally murdered in the Convent. I was one 
day in the nuns' private sick-room, when I had an 
opportunity, unsought for, of witnessing deeds of 
such a nature. It was, perhaps, a month after, the 
death of Saint Francis. Two little twin babes, th© 
children of Sainte Catharine, were brought to a 
priest, who was in the room, for baptism. I was 
present while the ceremony was performed, with 
the Superior and several of the old nuns, whose* 
names I never knew, they being called Ma tante, , 
Aunt. ♦ ^ * 

The priests took turns in attending to confession 
and catechism in the Convent, usually three months 
at a time, though sometimes longer periods. The 
priest then on duty was Father Larkin. He is a 
good-looking European, and has a brother who is 
a professor in the college. He baptized, and then 
put oil upon the heads of the inftmts, as is the cus- 
tom after baptism. They were then taken, one 
after another, by one of the old nuns, in the prea- 

r^. Digitized by Google 


ence of us ail. She pressed her hand upon the 
mouth and nose of the first, so tight that it could 
not breathe, and in a few minutes, when the hand 
was removed, it was dead. She then took the other, 
and treated it in the same way. No sound was 
heard, and both the children were corpses. The 
greatest indifference was shown by all present du- 
ring this operation ; for all, as I well knew, were 
long accustomed to such scenes. The little bodies 
were then taken into the cellar, thrown into the pit 
I have mentioned, and covered with a quantity of 
lime. ^^ 

I afterward saw another new-bom infant treated 
in the same manner, in the same place : but the ac- 
tors in the scene I choose not to name, nor the cir- 
cumstances, as every thing connected with it is of a 
peculiarly trying and painful nature to my own 
> These were the only mstances of infanticide 1 
witnessed ; and it seemed to be merely owing to ac- 
cident that I was then present. So far as I know,* 
there were no pains taken to preserve secrecy on 
this subject ; that is, I saw no attempt made to keep 
any of the inmates of the Convent in ignorance of 
the murder of children. On the contrary, others 
were told, as well as myself, on their first admission 
as veiled nuns, that all infants bom in the place 
were baptized and killed, without loss of time ; and 
I had been called to witness the murder of the three 
just mentioned, only because I happened to be in 
the room af the time. 

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Hat others -^ereMled m the ttmeTfiMaaiierda- 
rkig my slay in the nunnery, I am well assured. • 

How many there were I cannofc tell, and having 
taken no account of those I heard of, I cannot speak 
with precision; 4"* beKeve, however, that I learnt 

* through nuns, ^at at least eighteen or twenty iti- 
&nts were wnothered, and sec^tiy tnaffied in the 
cellar, while I was a nun. 

* One «f the dieets of the weariness of our bodies 
**tind minds, was our proneness to talk in our sleep. 

It was both ludicrous and painful to hear the nuns 9 

* repeat their prayers in the course of the night, as 
tiiey frequently dW in their iJreams. Required to 

f'keep o«r mitids continually on the stretch, both^in 
watching our conduct, in remembering the rules 
and our prayers, under the fear of the consequences 

^of any neglect, when we closed o«r ^3^3 in sleep, 
we often went over again the scenes of the day ; 

-and ^ war no uncommon thing for me 'to hear a ^ 

•-nun repeat one or two of our long exercises in the ■ 

* dead of night. ' Sometimes, by the time she had 
finished, another, in a d^rent part of the iDom, 
wotild happen to take a Sfmilar turn, and commence 
a similar recitation ; and I have known cases in 

■^"which several such uncnnscious exercises werC per- 
ftrmed, all within an hour ot t^o. 

We had now and then a recreation-day, when we 
w«re ireli^ved ft^m our customary labour, and from 
all prayers except those ^r morning and evening, 
and the short ones said at every striking of the 
clock. The greater parf of our time was then oc- 

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168 «x»Aei: . WiFMNB^Y 

CQ|»6d \dlh <(ii%reat ^mes, partieukriy 'bactgiim** 
mon aad drafts, aftd m sudi conversation as did tkot 
reUte to tmr paat lives, and the oniside of the Con- 
yent. Sometinies, ho^^vi^r, eur sporls would be 
intetntpted on mich day» by the^ntrsoice of one of 
the fHriests, n;\'ho would come in and- propose that 
his £^te^ thebifthday of his patron eaint^ should bo 
kept by " the saints." We saints ! 

Several nuns died at di^reot times while I was 
in the Convent ; how many I cannot say, but ther« 
15 was a considerable number : I might rather say, 
many in proportion to the number in the nim|e]^ 
The proportion of deaths I am sure was very lai^;©. 
There were always some in the nunfiV sick-roo^s, 
and several interments took place in the chapel. 

When a Black nun is dead, the corpse is dressed 
as if Uvinf , ^u»d placed in the chapel in a sitt}o|f 
posture, within the railing round the ahar, wkh a 
^ book in the hand, as if reading. Persons are .then "- 
freely admitted from the street, -and sotite of tbam 
kneel and pray before it. No particular notori^ 
is given, I believe, to this exhibition out of the Con- 
vent ; but such a case usually exckes some atten- 
tion. ' '' 

The living nuns are required to say prayers for 
the delivery of their deceased sister from purga- 
tory, being -informed, as in all other such cases, that 
if she is not there, and has no -need of t)ur inter- 
cession, our prayers are in no danger of be^g 
thrown away, as they will be set down to the ac- 
Hjount of some of our departed friends, or at least 

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9%Mm mtmifwmt. 169 

to'tbat of the soub vfki(^ hxrB no aeqaiintenees t» 
pttiy for them. 

It was cdstomary for us oceaskfially to kveel 
bdbre a dead nua thus seated in the chapel, aad I 
kare often performed that task. It was alipays 
painfttl, for the |^iastly count^aance hek^ aeca 
whenever I raised my eyes, and the iMing that 
the position and dress were entirely . oppoced to 
every idea of propriety in si:^« ease» atwaya iQade 
me melancholy. 

The Soperior sometimes left the Comment, and 
was absent lot an honr, or several hours, at a time^ 
h^ we Bever knew of it until she had Fetumed^ aad 
were not infonned where she bad been. I one day 
had reason to presume dial ahe had vecently paid a 
'yvA t6 die priests' &rm, though I had not direct 
crvidence that such was the &et The pnests' hxm 
ifl a fine tract of land belonging to ^ Seminary, a 
little distance iVom the eity, near the Laehine road^ 
with a large old-&shioned edifice up<»i it I hap- 
p^ed to be in the Superior's re<Hn on the day al- 
luded to^ when she made aome Femaxk en the plain* 
nesa and pov^ty of her furniture. I replied, that 
fAre^wtti not prcmd, and eould not be (foaalijofi^j oz^ 
^t ntcovmi] she answered-^** 

^ :lo ] but if I was, how much-aoperio^is the fur^ 
r.i: J at the priests' fiirm ! the poorest room there 
Ut furnished better than the best of mine.*' 

(iwas one day mending the fire in the Superior'a 
loom, when a priest was conversing with her on 
tile scarcity of m<mey ; aned I IfcWrd him say, that 

d by Google 

very h^ xnoeey wag rec^ved l^ the prmt^i^t^ 
prayers, but that the principal part came with p^H* • 
asees and ab^>}ution8. * 

. One of the most remarkable and unaccountaU^ 
thii»g8 that happened in the Coi|vem, was the di$v 
appearance of the old Superior. She had per^so-m- 
ed her eu«(on^ry part during the day, and had. 
acted and appeared Just as usual. She bad showQ 
ne symptoms of ill health, met with no particul^, 
difficulty in conducting business, and no agitsUiont, 
anxiety, or gloom, had be^ noticed in her conduct. 
We had no reason to suppose that during that day; 
she had expected any thing particular to occur, aipi^, 
more than the rest <^ us. After t^ close of oii¥. 
customary labours and eveimig leot^re, shedisms^ 
ed us to retire to bed, exactly in her usual manm^ir. ^ 
The next morning the bdl rang, we ^Qn^ 
our bed, htnrried on our ck»thes as usual, and pio^- 
cecded to tlie community^oom is double line, tp^^ 
commence the morning exercises. There, to our- 
surprise, we ^ound Bishop Laxtigue ; but the Supe<!^ 
rior was n&wher» to be seen. The Bishop soon 
addressed us, instead of her, and infonned ua^ thai, 
a lady neftr him, w^hom he presented to us, was no^f- 
the Superior of the Convent, and enjoined upon m 
the same ittspeeC ^nd ebedience whick we had paid 
to her predecessor.. 

The lady He introduced to us was one of em 
oldest nuns, Saint Du****, a very large,* fleg^y 
\toman, with swelled limbs, which rendered her 
yety slow ,1n WAllfH^,%iid often fave her ^^reat di»- 

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BLACK MVNlf«RT. 1^1 

tress. Not a word was dropped item which we 
could coQJocture the cause of this change, nor of the 
fitte of the old Superior. I took the irst of^rtunity 
to inquire of one of the nuns, whom I dared talk 
to, 'viiatjiad become of her; but I found them as 
ignorant as myself though suspicious that Ae had 
been murdered by the orders of the Bishop. Nerei^ 
did I obtain any light on her mysterious disappear-^ 
ance. I am confident, however, that if the Bishop 
wished to get rid of hex privately and by foul 
means, he had ample opportunities and power at 
his c<nnmand. Jane Ray, az usual, could not sd- 
low such an occurrence to pass by without intima- 
ting her own suspicions more plainly than any 
other of the nuns would have dared to do. She 
spoke out one day, in the community^room, and 
said, ** I'm going to have a hunt in the cellar for 
my old Superior/^ 

**Hush, Jane Ray 1'' e^laimed some of the nunS|^ 
•• you'll be punished." 

"My mother used to tell nxe," replied Jane^ 
•• never to be afraid of the &ce of man." 

It cannot be thought i^range that we w^e supers 
Btitious. Some were more easily terrified than 
others, by unaccountable sights and sounds : but all 
of us believed in the power and bccasiimal appear- 
ance of spirits, and were ready to look for them at 
almost any time. I have seen several instances of 
alarm caused by such superstition, and have expe- 
rienced it myself more than once. I was one day 
sitting mending aprons, beside one of the old nuQs« 

» Digitized by VjOOQ IC 

16'S BtAtIK NtJNNERr. 

in at commuiMty-roora, while the Htanies were Te- 
peatingf ; as I was very easy to laugh, Ss^int Ignace, 
or Aifnes, came in, v^Tilked np to her with much 
«gltatioto, and began to whisper in her ear. She 
tisually talked but little, and that made me more 
cnrious to know what was the matter with her. 1 
overheard her say to the old nun, in much alarm, 
that in the Cellar, from which she had Just returned, 
she had heard the most dreadful groanis that ever 
canie from any being. This was enough to give 
me unetisiness. I could not account for the appear- 
ance of an evil spirit in any part of the Convent, for 
LTiad been assured that the only one ever known 
there, was that of the nun who had died with an 
unconfessed sin, and^ that others were kept at a dis- 
tance by the holy water that was rather profusely 
tteed'in different parts of the nunnery. Still, I pre- 
sumed that the sounds heard by Saint Ignace must 
have proceeded from some devil, and 1 felt great 
dread at the thought of visiting the cellar again. I 
determined to seek furthei^ information of the terri- 
fied nun ; but when I addressed her on the subject, 
.at recreation-time, the first opportunity I could find, 
she replied, that I was always trying to make hef 
break silence, and walked off to another group in 
the room, sothat I could obtain no satisfaction. 

It is remarkable that in our nunnery, we were 
almost entirely cut off from the means of knowing 
any thing, even of each other. There Were many 
nuns whom I know nothing of to this day, after 
having been in the same rooms "ffith them every 

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day and night for many months. There was a nun, 
whom I supposed to be in the Convent, and whom 
I was anxious to learn something about from the 
time of my entrance as a novice; but I never was 
ni.le to learn any thing concerning her, not even 
wh^hf^r she was in the nunnery or not, whether 
alive or dead. She was the daughter of a rich fam- 
ily, jresiding at Point aux Trembles, of whom I had 
heard my mother speak before I entered the Con- 
vent. The name of her femily I think v^ras Lafay 
ette, and she was thought to be from Europe. She 
was known to have taken the black veil ; but as I 
was not acquainted with the name of the Saint she 
had as&umed, and I could not describe her in ** the 
world," all my inquiries and observations proved 
entirely in vain. 

I iRid heard before my entrance into the Convent, 
^lat 6ae of the nims had made her escape from it 
during the last war, and once inquired about hpr of 
d^e Superior, ^e admitted that such was the frot; 
but I was never able to kam any particulars con- 
cerning her name, origin, or manner of escape. 

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Diadppearanct of Nuns— St. Pierrt^Gagi-^Mif ttmparaif 

Conjlnement in a Cell — The Cholera Season — How to av4yid 

it— Occupations in&u Convent during the Pestilence— Man- 

u/acture qf Wax Candles — TTie Slectwn fitoto— jWarm 

- among the Ntma— Preparations /or De/en€&—Pena7iee8^ 

I AM unable to say how many nuns disappeaze^ 
while I was in the 0)nvent Th«e were several 
One was a young lady ealled St Piexre, I^think, 
bitt am not certain of her name. There were tw© 
nuns by this name. I had known her as a norice 
with me. She had been a novice about two years 
and a half before I became One. She was rather 
large without hmng taU, and had rather dark hair 
and ^ eyes. She (^appeared unaccountably, and 
nothing was said of her except what I heard in 
whispers from a few of the nuns, as we found mo* 
ments when we could speak unobserved. 

Some told me they thought she must have left 
the Convent ; and I might have supposed so, had I 
not some time afterward found some of her things 
lying about, which she would, in such a case, doubt- 
less have taken with her. I never had known any 
thing more of her than what I could observe or con- 
jecture. I had always, however, the idea that her 
parents or friends were wealthy, for she sometimes 

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w teeiV e d «lo^0e attd o^^r tktnga, whi^ 'weve Twy 

Anotiier nun, nam^d Sainf Pan!^ died suddenly; 
but as di ^ther cases, we knew so little, or Yather 
w&te 80 entirely igfnoTant of the panse and circnm- 
Stances, tbat we conld only conjecture ; and being 
fotladden to converse freely on that or any other 
SQ^'eot, thought but little about it. I have m^ition- 
ed that a number of 'teilei nuns thus mysteiioutly 
disappeared during my residence among them. 1 
cftnnot perhaps i^all them all, but I am confident 
there were as vftany as ^ve^ and I think more. All 
that we knew in such eases was, that one of our 
number who had i^peared as usual whai last ob» 
serred, was nowhere to be seen, and never was 
again, liad J«»e Ray, on several such occasions, 
would indulge in her hcM, and, as we thought, dan- 
gefous Temfloks. She had intknated that seme of 
thotfe, wh* had been for a tkne m the Cenventt 
wero by some means v^oftOfed to make w^y ibr 
new ones ; and it was generally the iaet, that ^ 
disappearance of one and the introduction of another 
into our coHunuidty, were nearly at the same time. 
I MLvis tepeaieiBy heard Jane Ray say, with one of 
her signifioBK looks, **Whea you Sf^ear, some- 
h^ else disa^q^ears 1" 

[t is unpleasant enough to distress or torture one's 
Btki] but tiliero is sc«aetking worse in being tor- 
iBeuted by others; especially where they resort ta 
foiree, and show % pleasure in compeiiing you, and 
leare you no hope of escape, or oppoitunity to resist. 

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146 Q&AQK KI7NN«]tT. 

I h»d mm the ga^fs repaatedly in vMi and mm^ 
times applied with a roughness whicb seemed nir 
tfaer inhuman ; hut it is one thing to see and an- 
other thing to feel. There were some of the old 
nuns who seemed to take pleasure in 0|]f)res8ing 
those who fell under their displeasure. They wer^^ 
ready to recommend a resort to oompuisory meas- 
ures, and ever ready to run for the gags. These 
were k^ in one of the eommunity-rooins, in a 
drawer hetween two closets ; and there a stock ^ 
dbout My of them was always in deposite. Som^ 
times a number of nuns would prove refractory 
at a time ; and I have seen bs^les commenced, in 
which several appeared on both sides. The diso* 
hedient were, however, soon overpowered; and to 
prevent their screams £rom being heard beyond the 
walls, gagging commenced immediately. I have 
seen half a dozen lying gagged and bound at onop. 

I have been subjected to the same state of invot 
imtary silence more than once: for sometimes* 
came excited to a state of desperation by the meas- 
mres used against me, and then conducted in a man- 
ner perhaps not less violent than some others. My 
hands have been tied behind me, and a gag put 
into my mouth, sometimes with such force and 
rudeness as to lacerate my lips and cause the blood 
to flow freely. 

Treatm^t of this kind is apt to teach submission.; 
sad many times I have acquiesced under orders re>, 
ceived, or wishes expressed, with fi fear of a jecttr^ 
rence to some severe measures. 

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One day I, had iBcwrred- 1^ Anger of the S«pe- 
not m a greater degree than usvotii and it was tn:- 
dered that I should be taken to one of the cells. I 
was taken by some of the nans, boand and gagged, 
carried down the staks into the cellar, and kid upon 
ike floor. Net long afterward I mdueed one of the 
nuns to request the Superior to come down and see 
me] and on- making »3me acknowledgment I v^s 
leljwisad. I will, however, relate this story rather 
mote in detail. 

On that day I had been engaged with ifene Ray, 
in carrying into effect a |^n of revenge upon an- 
other person, when I fell under the viniiictive spirit 
irf some of the old nuns, and sufiered severely. 
The Superior erdered me to the cella, and a scene 
ef iriol^ftce commeneed whleh I Will not attempt to 
describe, nor the precise eftcumstances which led to 
it. Suffice it to say, that after exhausting my 
strength, by resisting as long ssi I could against 
several imns, I had my- hands drawn behind m?y 
back, a leathern band passed first round my thumbs, 
thea round my hands, and, then round my waist, 
tmd ^LStefied. This was drawn so tight that it cut 
dureogh the flesh of my thun^, making wounds, 
the scars of which stiii remain. .A gag was then 
forced into my mouth, not indeed so violently as it 
sometimes was, but roughly enough ; after which I 
was tak^ 1:^ main force, and carried down into the 
cellar, across it almost to the opposite extremity, 
and brought to the last of the second range of cells 
on the left hand. The door was opened, and I was 

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Ibcpwn in wMk vioknce, «iid lej^ akme, tbe door 
being imoMdis^y closed uid bolted on the outacfe. 
. The bare ground was under me, cold and hard as 
if it had been beaten down even. I lay still, in the 
position in which I had &llen, as it would have been 
difficult for me to move, eonfined as I was^ and ex- 
hausted by my exertions; and the shock of my M\^ 
and my wretched state of desperation ^md fear disiii< 
clined me from any further attempt I was in al- 
most total darkness, there being nothing perceptible 
except a slight glimmer of light winch came in 
through the little window iar above me. 

How lo«g I remained in that condition lean <mky 
conjecture, it seemed to me a long time, wad must 
have been two or three hours. I did not move, ex- 
pecting to die there, and in a state of distress whioh 
1 cannot describe, bom the tight bandage about my 
hands, and the gag holding my jaws apart at th^ 
greatest extension. I am confident I mui^ have-dkd 
before morning, if, as I th&a. expected, I had been 
lefl there all night By-and-by, however, the bdt 
was drawn, the door opened, and Jane Bay spoke 
to me in a tone of kindness. She had taken an op- 
^rtunity to slip into the cellar unnoticed on pur- 
pose to see me^ She unboond the gag, took it out 
of my mouth, and told me she would do any thing to 
get me out of that dungeon. If she had had the 
bringing of me down, she would not hav^thrust me 
so brutally, and she would be revenged on those who 
had. She offered to throw herself upon her knees 
before the Superior and beg her forgiveness^ To 

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Ais t wottld not consent ; but told her to atk ^ 
Superior to come to me, as I wished to speak to her. 
This I had no idea she wouW condescend to do^ 
but Jane had not been gone long before ^j^ Superior 
came, and asked if I repented in the sight of God 
lor what I had done. I replied in the affirmative ; 
and after a lecture of some length on the pain I had 
given the Virgin Mary by my conduct, she asked 
whether I was willing to ask pardon of all the nuns 
for the Scandal I had caused them by my behaviour. 
To this I made no objection ; and I was then re- 
leased from my prison and my bonds,, went up to 
the community-room, and kneeling befote all the 
sisters in succession, begged the forgiveness and 
prayers of each. 

Among the marks which I still bear of the 
Wounds received from penances and violence, are 
the scars left by the belt with which I repeatedly 
tortured myself, ibr the mortifkalHon of my spirk. 
These are most distinct on ray side ; for although 
the band, which was four or five inches in brcadtli, 
and extended round the waist, was stuck fall of 
sharp iron points in all parts, it was sometimes 
crowded most against my side, by resting in my 
chair, and the wounds were usually deeper thew 
than anywhere else. 

My thumbs were several times cut severely by 
the tigh^ drawing of the band used to confine my 
arms, and scars are still visible upon them. 

The rough gagging which I several times en- 
dured wounded my lips very iftuch ; for it was com- 

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nM>I^ IK that <»peiadoii, to thrust the gag hard ii^mal 
tlM teetii, and esltch one or both the lips, which were 
sometimes cruelly cut The olject was to stop th^ 
screams nade by the oflbiider as soon as possible j 
and some of the old nuns delighted in tormentiqg 
us. A gag was once forced into my mouth which 
had a large splinter upon it, and this cut through 
my under lip, in front, leaving to this day .a scar 
about half an inch long. The same lip was sev- 
eral times wounded, as well as the other ; but one 
4ay worse than ever, when anarrow piece was cut 
off from the left side of it, by being pinched betweai 
the gag and the under fore-teeth ; and this has left 
im inequality in it which is still very observable. 

One of the most shocking stories I heard of 
events that h^ occurred in tbe nunnery before my 
acquaintance with it, was the following, which was 
told me by Jana What is uncommon, I can ^fix 
the date wh^ I heard it. It was on New- Year's 
day, 1834 The ceremonies, customary in the early 
part of tluit day, had been performed j after mass, 
in the morning, the ^perior had shaken hands 
with all the nuns, and given us her blessing, for she 
was said to have received power from heaven to do 
so only once a year, and then on the first day of the 
year. Besides this, cakes, raisins, &c. are dis- 
Iributed to the nuns on that day. 
. While in the cpmmunity^oom, I had ta^en a seat 
just vnthin the cupboard-door, where I often found a 
partial shelter from observation with Jane, wh^i a 
conversation incidentally ^egan between us. Our 

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UMK RVimnnr, 171 

ptactke oft«& was^ to take pkces there beside one . 
of the old nuns, awaiting the time when she woidd 
gO' away £>r a lit^ wib^, and lea^e us partially 
sefeaied ffom the obserration of othe^p: On that 
oeeasicm, Jane and I were left for a time alone ; 
"WheOt after some diseotiTse on suicide, bIsb remark- 
ed, that three mots cmce killed therosehres in the 
Ck>nvent This happened, ^e said, not long after 
her reception, and i knew, therefore, that it was 
several years b^re, for she had been received a 
eonsiderable time before I had become a novice. 
Three yonng ladies, she informed me, took tlt^ veil 
toge^r, or very near the same time, I am^ not cer- 
tam which. I know ihey have four robes in the 
Convent, to be worn daring the ceremony of toking 
the veil ; but I never have seen more than one oi 
tiiem used at a time. 

Two of the new nuns wi^e sisters, and the c^er 
^«r cousin. They had been re(!eived bnt a few 
days, wh^i in^rmation was given one morning 
diBt they had be^s fcMmd dead in their beds, amid 
a profusion of blood. Jffiie Ray sai4 she saw th^r 
corpses, and that th*ey appeared to havcf killed them- 
srives, by <q>ening veins m their arms with a ki^ 
they had obtained, and all had Med to death to^ 
gedier. What was extraordinary, Jane Ray added, 
that she had heard no noise, and that sdie believed 
nobody had suspected that any thing was wrong 
dcBing the night. Saint Hypolke, however, had 
stated, that she foiund them in the morning, after the 

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odter Sims had gone to pray era, lymg li U m m m 
thenr back 

For some reason er odber, their dealh wmM w$ 
fsade pub^f ; but their bodi«a, instead of bek^ ^3k 
hiMted in full dress in the chapei, and afterward 
interred with isolemnity beneath ity were ^enm^ 
eeremonionsly into the cellar, and thrown into the 
hde I have so oftai mentioned. 

There were a few instance!, and only a kw^ in 
which we knew any thing that was happening in 
the world ; and even then ovur knowledge did not 
extend ont of tbe city. I can recall biil^Teet>c- 
casiohs of this kind. Two of them were vrbeaa. 
ike cholera prevailed in Montreal ; and ihe otbet 
was the election riots. The a]^[)eaieaiiee of tbe 
cholera, in both seasons of ks ravages, gave its 
abundance of occupation. Indeed, we w«re more 
borne down by hard labour at thoae times, than ever 
before or after#a1rd during my stay. The Pope 
had given «arly notice that ii» burning of wad: 
csmdles v^ouM afibrd protection ^om the disease, 
because^ ae long as any person continued to bum 
one, tbe Virgin Mary would Intercede for him* 
No sooner, therefore, had the alietrming disease 
made its appearance in Montreal, than a long wmc 
candle was lighted, in the Convent for each oi 
the inmates, so that all pasts of it in use woM wt6r 
fieially illuminated day ^nd night. Thus a. gfeat 
many <!andies were constantly burning, which wece 
to be replaced from those manu&otured by theoE^itti, 
But this was a trifle. The Pope's message having 

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^UkCK NUMNKlKT. 178 

been premfilgftted ia the Grey Ntntnery, th« Con- 
gregstional Nunnery, and to Catholics at large, 
din>iigh tfaa pulpita, an extraordinary demand was 
created for wax candles, to supply which we were 
principally depended upon. All who could be em- 
ployed in making them were therefore set at work, 
and I, among the rest, assisted in different depart- 
ments, and witnessed all. 

Numbers of the nuns had been long familiar with 
die business ; for a vei 
had been annually m 
but now the' works w< 
ooeupattons in a gret 
quantities of wax we 

which was said ta have been imported from Eng- 
land ; kettles were placed in some of the working- 
roomi, in which it was clarified by heat over coal 
fires, and when prepared, the process of dipping 
commenced. The wicks, which were quite long, 
were placed hanging upon a reel, taken up and 
dipped in succession, until, after many slow revolu- 
tioiMS of the reel, the candles were of the proper size. 
They were then taken to a part of the room where 
tables were prepared for rolling them smooth. This 
is done by passing a roller over them, until they be- 
came even and polished, after which they are laid by 
for sale. These processes caused a constant bustle 
in several of the rooms; and the melancholy reports 
from without, of the ravages of the cholera, with the 
uncertainty of what might be^he result with us, not- 
withstanding the ptomised intercession of the Virgin, 

Digitized by VjQOQ IC 

174 BtACX VVmJiXKY. 

and the iHiUiaot lights constantly batni&f in 
numbers arouiid us, impressed tke scenies I used lo 
witness very deeply on my mind. I bad very little 
doi^t myself^ of the strict truth of the sto/y we baid 
heard of the security conferred upon those who 
burnt candles, and yet I sometimes had serious fears 
arise in my mind. These thoughts, however, I did 
my utmost to regard as great sins, and eiridencet of 
my own want of faith. 

at period that I formed a partial 
several Grey nuns, who used to 
>r supplies of candles for their 
10 opportunity to converse with 
as the purchase and sale of the 
articles they required. I became familiar with their 
countenances and appeatances, but was u^aUe to 
judge of their characters or feelings. Conciraing 
the rules and habits prevailing in the Grey Nun- 
nery, I therefore remamed as ignorant as if I had 
been a thousand miles off; and they had no better 
opportunity to learn any thing of us beyond what 
they could see around them in the room where the 
candles were sold. 

We supplied the Congregational Nunnery also 
with wax candles, as I before remarked; and in 
both those institu^ns, it was understood a conslftnt 
illumination was kept up. Citizens were also fre- 
quently running in to buy candles, in great and 
small quantltks, so that the business of storekeeping 
was ht more laborious than common. 

We were^ confirmed in our ftiiih in the intercassion 

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^f ^c ViTgttt, ?/hen we found that we remained safe 
from the cholera ; and it is a remarkable fact^ that 
not one case of that disease existed in the nunnery, 
during either of the seasons in which it proved 86 
"Sstal in the city. 

When the election riots prevailed in Montreal, 
the city was thrown into general alarm ; we heard 
some reports, from day to day, which made us 
anxious for ourselves. Not 
any serious thoughts until ] 
ments in some parts of the n 
to ray own satisfaction, that 
tity of gunpowder stored in s 
the walls, and that some of it was removed, or pre- 
pared for use, under the direction of the Superior. 

I have mentioned several penances, in di^rent 
parts df this narrative, which we sometimes had to 
perform. There is a great variety of them ; and. 
While some, though trifling in appearance, became 
very painful, by long endurance, or frequent re- 
petition; others are severe in their nature, and 
would never be submitted to unless through fear of 
something worse, or a real belief in their efficacy to 
remove guilt. I will mention here such as I recol- 
lect, which can be named without ofiending a vir- 
tuous ear ; for some there were, which, although I 
have been comjselled to submit to, either by a mis- 
led conscience, or the fear of severe punishments, 
now that I am better a^ to^ge of my duties, and 
ift liberty to act, I woulcfll^paention or describe. 

Kisiittg the tteor, is a'^^^^oottimon penance; 

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176 9x»4«x x9ifiiKmy. 

kneeling and kissing tl^ feet of the otlief. nuns, m 
anotker ; as are kneeling on hard pean, and wak- 
ing with them in the shoes. We had xepeatedl^r to 
walk on our knees through the ^subterranean pas- 
sage, leading to the Congregational Nunnery ; and 
sometimes to eat our meab with a rope round our 
necks. Sometimes we were fed only with suck 
things as we most disliked. ^ Garlic was given to 
me on this account, because I had a strong antipa- 
thy against-k ., Eels, were repeatedly given to some 
of us, because we felt an unconquerable repugnance 
to them, on account of reports we had heard of Iheir 
feeding on dead carcasses, in the river St. Lawrence. 
It was no uncommon thing for us to be required to 
drink the water in which the Superior had washed 
her feet. Sometimes we were required to brand 
ourselves with a hot iron, so as to leave s^ars ; at 
other times to whip our naked flesh with several 
small rods, before a private aka^, until we drew 
blood. I can assert, with the perfect knowledge of 
the fact, that nlany of the nuns bear the -scars of 
these wounds. 

One of our penances was to stand for a leacigth oi 
time, with our Birms extended, in imitation of the 
Saviour on the cross. The Chemn de la Croix, or 
Road to the Cross, is, in fact, a penance, thou|^k 
consists of a variety of prostrations, with the repe- 
tition of many prayers, occupying two or three 
hours. This we had to perform frequently, goia|^ 
into the chapel, and fiiUing before e^rh chapelle in 
succession,' at each time commemorating scwae par- 

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M4W /WMNSiV. Iff 

prQgr€« tbe place of his cjttteifixioo. Sometimcy 
we were obliged to sleep on the floor ia the wjatef , 
with.^othing OYSr tw but a jingle sheet ; md some- 
ttiones to >hew a piece of wiadow-gk js to a &^f 
pgwdex; m. the- presence of the Superior. 

We had soxnietimes to wear leathern belts stuck 
fiill of shaup metaUic points round our waists, and 
the upper part of Jour ann6» bound on so tight that 
Ihey penetrated the flesh, and drew blood. 

Some of the penances were so severe, that they 
aeexoed too much to be endured; and when they 
we^re imposed, the nuns who were to sufler them, 
fometimes showed the most violent repugnance. 
They would oft^ resist, and still ofiener express 
their opposition by exclamations and screaix^. 

Never, however, was any noise heard from them, 
fox a long time, for there was a remedy always 
ready to be applied in cases of the kind. The gag 
which was put into. the mou& of the unfortunate 
Saint Francis, had been brought from a place where 
there were fbtiy or fifty others, of different shapes 
and sizes. These I have seen iu their depository, 
which is a drawer between two closets, in one of 
the community-rooms. Whenever any loud noise 
was made, one of these instruments was demanded, 
and gaggir g commenced at once. I have Imown 
many, mauy instances, and sometimes five or six 
liuns gagged at once. Sometimes they would be- 
^xune so much excited before they could be bound 
tmd gagged, that considerable force was necessary 

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to be eierU^i and I have seen the blood fbwttsg 
f^tmt tDouths into which the gag had beea thrcnt 
wiUk violenee. 

Indeed I ought to know eemelhing on this ^ 
paftment of nunnery discipline : I have had it tmd 
upon myself and I can bear witness that it is net 
only most humilii^ng and oppressive, but oft«i ex- 
trwnely painftd. The mouth is kept forced open, 
tuid the straining of the jews at their utmost sto^cK 
for a considerable time, is very distressing. 

One of the worst punishments which I evear saw 
inflicted, was that with a cap; and y^ some of the 
old nuns were permitted io inflict it at th®r pleas- 
ure. I have repeatedly known them to go fot- a 
cap, when one of our number had transgressed a 
rule, sometimes though it wete a very unimportant 
one. These caps were kept in a cupboard in the old 
nuns' room, whence they were brought when wanted. 

They were small, made of a reddish looking 
leather, fitted closely to the head, and &stened under 
the chin with a kind of buckle. It was the com- 
mon practice to tie the nun's hands behind and gag 
her before the cap was put on, to prevent noise and 
resistance. I never saw it worn by any for one 
moment, without throwing them in severe suflferings. 
If permitted, they would scream in the most shock- 
ing manner; and they always writhed as much as 
their confinement would allow. I can speak from per- 
sonal knowledge of this punishment, a& I have en- 
dured it more than once ; and yet I have no ideadf 
the catise of the pak. I never examined one of the 

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ta^ ttoT saw the ioside, for they are dwajs brought 
mud itik&a away quickly ; but although Uie firirt sen- 
sation was that of coolness, it was hardly put on my 
head before a i^olent and indescribable sensation 
hegan^ like that of a bUster, only much more insup- 
portable ; we^ this continued untii it was removed. 
R would produce such an acute pain as to throw us 
into convulsions, aad X think no human being could 
widure it for an hour. A^r this punishment, we 
felt its efiects through the system, for many days. 
Havng once ka^wa what it was by experience^ I 
beld the cap in 4x«ad> and whenever I was con- 
(tomed to sufier the punidbment again, felt ready to 
4q any thing to avoid it Bat when tied and gag* 
l^i withth« cap on niy head again^ I could only 
aiiik upon the floor, ajid roll about in anguish until 
it was taken off! 

This was usually done in about ten minutes, 
sometimes less, but the pain always continued in my 
head for several days, l4honght that it mighi take 
f^ray a persoft's reason if kept on a much longer 
time. If I liad not been gagged, I am sure I should 
have uttered awful screams. I have &k the effects 
ibr a week. Sometimes fresh cabbage leaves were 
afiftied to my head to remove it. Having had no 
opportunity to examine my head, I cannot say mora 

This punishment was occasionally resorted to 
ica very triffing offences, such as washing the hands 
without permission ; and it was generally applied 
on the spot, and before the olber nuns in the com- 

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n4 Priesta (iftfu Diatriet of MofnJtreol haittfret mcee— td ihM 
Biaek Ntmntrv^Crimes nonvmiMid and rtgsuirtd ^ thtm^ 
Tht Pope* a Command to conmiU indectnt Crimea — Ckar^ 
actcra of tht Old and Ntto Superiora — T7u timidity of tho 
latter^ I began to he employed in 0ie ^apttaU-^Some account 
^ them*- Warning given-vu by aiek Nunr-Pfnaajm kg 

I HAYE mentioned before, that tile country, ««&* 
down as Three Rivers, is furnished with prkstfr by 
the Seminary of Montreal'; and that these huindred 
and fifty men are liable to be occasi^ally transfer* 
red from one statfoh to another. Ptumbers of them 
are often to be Seen in the streets of Mmitreal, tm 
they may find a home in the Seminary. 

They afe considered as having an eqtnd right to 
filter the Black Nunnery whedCVe^ they please; 
and (hen, according to out oa^s* they hare owtt- 
plete control oret the nuns. T6 name all the wotte 
of shame of which they are guilty in that retreat, 
would require much time and s^mce, neither would 
it be necessary to fhe accomplishment cf my objeict, 
which is, the publication of but some of thdf 
criminality to the* world, and the development, in 
general terms, of scenes thus finr ciirried on in se- 
cret within the walls of that Convent, where I was 
so long an inmate. 

Secure against detection by the world, they never 
believisd that an eyewitness would ev^ eseape to 

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tell of their crimed, a&d declare some of their naimes 
before the world ; but the time has come, and some 
of their deeds of darkness must come to the day. 
I have seen ia the nunnery, the priests irom more, 
\l presume^ than a hunted country places, admitted 
for shameful and criminal purposes : from St. Charles, 
St Denis, St. Mark's, St. Antoine, Chambly, Bertier, 
fit John'«, &c. &c. 

How unexpected to them will be the disclosttref 
I make ! Shut up in a place from which there has 
been thought to be but one way of egress, and that 
the passage to the grave, they considered themselves 
safe in perpetrating crimes in our presence, and in 
making us share iti their criminality as ofl^i as they 
chose, and conducted more shamelessly than even 
the brutes. These debauchees would come in with* 
out ceremony, concecding their names, both by 
night and by day, where the cries and pains of 
the injured innocence of their victims could never 
reach the world, for relief or redress for their wrongs ; 
without remorse or shame, they would glory in tor- 
turing, in the most barbarous manner, the feelings 
of tho^e under their power; telling us, at the same 
time, thsMhis mortifying the flesh was religion, and 

We were sometimes invited to put ourselves to 
.voluntary sufferings in a variety of ways, not for a 
penance, but to show our devotion to Xjrod. A priest 
would sometimes say to us — 

*• Now, which of you have love enough for Jesan 
Christ to stick a pin through your cheeks !*•• 

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Some of us would signify our readiness, and im- 
mediately thrust one through up to the head. Some- 
times he would propose |}iat we should repeat the 
operation several times on the spot ; and the cheeks 
of a number of nuns would be bloody. 

There were other acts occasionally piroposed and 
consented to, which I cannot name in a book. Such 
the Superior would sometimes command us to per- 
form ; many of them things not only useless and 
unheard of, but loathsome and indecent in the high- 
est possible degree. How they could ever have 
been invented I never could conceive. Things 
were done worse than the entire exposure of the 
person, though this was occasionally required of 
several at once, in the presence of priests. 

The Superior of the Seminary would sometimes 
come and inform us, that hfe had received orders 
from the Pope, to request that those nuns who pos- 
sessed the greatest devotion and feith, should be re- 
quested to perform some particular deeds, which he 
named or described in our presence, but of which 
no decent or moral person could ever endure to 
speak. I cannot repeat what would Injure any ear, 
not debased to the lowest possible degree. I am 
bound by a regard to truth, however, to confess, 
that deluded women were found among us, who 
would comply with those requests. 

There was a great difference between the char- 
acters of our old and new Superior, which soon be- 
came obvious. The former used to say she liked 
to walk, because it would prevent her from becom- 

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ing corpalent.. She vras^ therefore, very active, bmA 
constantly gokig about from one part of the nun- 
nery to ancHher, overseeing us at our various em- 
f^jmeaatM. I never saw in her any appearance of 
timidity : ehe seemed, on the contrary, bold and 
masculine,- and sometimes much more than that, 
eniel and cold-blooded, in scenes calculated to over- 
come any common person. Such a character she 
had particularly exhibited at the murder of Saint 

The new Superior, on the other hand, was so 
heavy saad lame, that she walked with much diffi- 
culty, uid> consequently exercised a less vigilant 
oversight of the nuns. She was also of a timid 
disposition, or else had been overcome by some 
great fright in her past life ; for she was apt to 
become alarmed in the night, and never liked to be 
alone in &e dark. She had long performed the 
part of an old nun, which is that of a spy upon the 
younger ones, and was well known to us in that 
character, under the name of Ste. Margarite. Soon 
alter her promotion to the station of Superior, she 
appointed me to sle^ in her apartment, and assign- 
ed me a sofa to lie up(». One night, while I was 
asleep, she suddenly threw herself upon me, and 
exclaimed In great alarm, ** Oh I mon Dieu ! mon 
Dieu! Clu'est que ^?" Oh, my God! my QodI 
What is that ? I jumped up and looked about the 
room, but saw nothing, and endeavoured to convince 
her that there was nothing extraordinary there. 
But she insisted that a gboat had come and held 

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her bed-cariain, to that she oould not draw it. I 
examined it, and found that the curtain had been 
caught by a pin in the valance, which had hdd k 
back ; but it was impossible to tranquillize her for 
some time. She insisted on my sleepingf with her 
the rest of the night, and I stretched myseK across 
the foot of her bed, and slept there till morning. 

During the last part of my stay in the Ccmvent, 
I was often employed in attending in the hospitals^ 
There are, as I have before mentioned, several 
apartments devoted to the sick, and there !s a phy- 
sician of Montreal, who attends as ph3r8ioiaii to the 
Convent. It must not be supposed; however, that 
he knows any thing eoncernng the private hospi- 
tals. It is a &ct of great importance to be dis- 
tinctly understood, and constantly borne in mind, 
that he is never, under any circumstances, admitted 
into the private hospital-rooms. Of those he sees 
nothing more than any stranger whatever. He is 
limited to the care of those patients who are admit- 
e public hoepitel, and one 
i these he visits ev^ day. 
for charity by the institu- 
of the nuns, and often go 
ideas of their charitable 
3. The phj'siciftn himself 
cases share in the delu- 

Dr. Nelson tiirough the 

direetion of the Superior, 

with pen, ink, and paper in my hands, and wrote 

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down die prescriptions whidi he ordered &r the 
diiS^reiit patients. These were aiierwiurd pre^red 
and administered by the attendants. About a year 
before I left the Convent, I was first appointed to 
attend the private sicic-rooms, and was frequently 
employed in that duty up to the day of my depart- 
ure. Of course, I had opportunities to observe the 
number and classes of patients treated there ; and 
in what I am to say on the subject, I appeal with 
perfect confidence to any true and competent wit- 
nets to confirm my words, whenever such a witness 
may «|^)ear. 

JX would be vain for anybody who has merely 
i^sited the Convent from curiosity, or resided in 
it as a novice, to question my declarations. Such a 
p^spn must necessarily be. ignorant of even the ex- 
istfisxce of the private rooms, unless informed by 
some one else. Such rooms, however, there are, 
and I could relate many things which have passed 
there during the hours 1 was ^fnployed in them, as 
I have stated. 

. One night I was called to sit up with an old nun« 
named Saint Clare,, who, in going down-stairs, had 
dislocated a limb, and lay in a sick-room adjoining 
an ho^pitaL She seemed to be a little out of her 
head a part of the time, but appeared to be quite in 
possession of her reason most of the night. It 
was easy to pretend that she Was delirious ; but I 
considered her as speaking the truth, though I felt 
reluctant to repeat what I heard her say, and oXi' 
cuscd mfvelf from mentioning it even at contesion, 

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on the gTound that the Sapen<Mr dioogte her de- 

What led her to some of the mo^ remarkable 
parts of her conversation, was a motion I made, in 
the course of the night, to take the light out of her 
little room into the adjoining apartment, to look once 
more at the sick persons there. She begged me not 
to leave her a moment in the dark, for she could 
not bear it " I have witnessed so many horrid 
scenes," said she, ** in this Convent, that I want 
somebody near me constantly, and must always 
have a light burning in my room. I cannot tell 
you," she added, " what things I remember, for 
they would frighten you too much. What you 
have seen are nothing to them. Many a murder 
have I witnessed ; many a nice young creature has 
been killed in this nunnery. I advise you to be 
very cautious — ^keep every thing to yourself^there 
are many here ready to betray you." 

What it was that induced the old nun-to express 
so much kindness to me 1 could not tell, unless she 
was frightened at the recollection of her own crimes, 
and those of others, and felt grateftil for the care I 
took of her. She had been one of the night- 
watches, and never before showed me any particu- 
lar kindness. She did not indeed go into detail con- 
cerning the transactions to which she alluded, but 
to]d me that some nuns had been murdered under 
great aggravations of cruelty, by being gagged, and 
left to starve in the cells, or having their flesh burnt 
off thehr bonat with red*hot irons. 

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It was UQCommoi^ to find compunction expressed 
by any of the nuns. Habit renders us insensible 
to tbe sufferings of others, and careless about our 
..own^ins. I had become so hardened myself, that 
j; find it difficult to rid myself of many of my former 
fiilse principles and views of right and wrong. 

I was one day set to wash some of the empty bot- 
tles from the cellar, which had contained the liquid 
that was poured into the cemetery there. A num- 
,ber of these had been brought from the comer 
where so many of them were always to be seen, 
tta4 placed at the head of the cellar stairs, and there 
W3B w^e, required to take them and wash them out 
We poured in water and rinsed them: a few drops, 
which got upon our clothes, soon made holes in 
them. I think the liquid was called vitriol, or some 
auch name ; and I heard some persons say, that it 
would soon destroy the flesh, and even the bones of 
the dead. At another time, we were furnished with 
a little of the liquid, which was mixed with a quan- 
tity of water, and used in dying ^ome cloth black, 
which was wanted at funerals in the chapels. Our 
hands were turned very black by being dipped in it, 
but a few drops of some other liquid wer^ mixed 
with fresh water and given us to wash in, which 
left our skin of a bright xed. 

The battles of which I spoke were inade of very 
thick, dark-coloured glass, large at the bottom, and, 
from recollection, I should say held something less 
than a gallon. 

I was once much shocked, on entering the room 

' it 

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for the examination of conscience, at seeing a nnn 
hanging by a cord from a ring in the ceiling, with 
her head downward. Her clothes had been tied 
round with a leathern strap, to keep them in their 
place, and then she had been &stened in that sitna- 
tion, with her head some distance from the floor. 
Her face had a very unpleasant appearance, being 
dark-coloured and swollen by the rushing in of the 
blood ; her hands were tied, and her mouth stopped 
with a large gag. This nun proved to be no other 
than Jane Ray, who £)r some fault had been eon- 
demned to this punishment 

This was not, however, a solitary ease ; I heard 
of numbers who were **hung,'' as it was called, at 
diflerent times ; and I saw Saint Hypolite and Saint 
Luke undergoing it. This was considered a most 
distressing punishment ; and it was the only one 
which Jane Ray could not endure, of all die had 

Some of the nuns would allude to it in her pres- 
ence, but it usually made her angry. It was prob- 
ably practised in Uie same place while I was a nov- 
ice; but I never heard or thought of such a thing 
in those days. Whenever we wished to enter the 
room for the examination of conscience, we had to 
ask leave ; and after some delay were permitted to 
go, but always under a strict charge to bend the 
head forward, and keep the eyes fixed upon thd floor. 

y Google 


Jfire 9UU9 19 the imprisoned Nun*— Thdr/eare— Othere tem^ 
porarily put into the Cells— Reliques—,7%e Agnus Dei—T%e 
Priests^ private HospikU, orBoly Retreat-'Secret Booms in 
ihe Rmstem WUg^Reports-iif Murd&rs in the Qmoent-r^ 
>T&«- JSuperiot^s private Records— Number of Nuns in the 
Convent— Desire o/£!scape — Urgent reason /or it-^Pian-^ 
Deliberation— Attempt^ Success. 


I OFTEN seized an opportunity, when I safely 

x^Cffiid, to speak a cheering or friendly word to one 
^ the poor prisoners, in passing their cells, on my 

errands in the cellars. For a time I supposed them 
to. be sisters i but I afterward discovered that this 

f^as iKit the oase. I found that they were always 
under the fear of sufiering some punishment, in 

.case they should be found talking with a person not 
commissioned to attend them. They would often 
ask, ** Is not somebody coming ?" 

I could easily believe what I heard affirmed by 

, <^diers» that fear was the severest of their sufferings. 
C!<«ifined in the dark, in so gloomy a place, with the 
JcjlB^and spacious arched cellar stretching off this 
way and that, visited only now and then by a soli- 

'kayy-nmii with whom they were afraid to speak 
their, feelings^ and with only the miserable society 

. irf each Qthe]?! how gloomy thus to spend day after 
day, months, and even years, without any prospect 
of liberation, apd Ijable every moment to any other 
&te to which the Bishop or Superior might con* 

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demn them I But these poor creatures must have 
known something of the horrors perpetrated in 
other parts of the huilding,and could not have been 
ignorant of the hole in the cel}ar, which was not 
fiir from their cells, and the use to which it was de- 
voted. One of them told me, in confid^^cOk she 
wished they could get out They must also have 
been often disturbed in th^r sleep, if they ever did 
sleep, by the numerous priests who passed ^roi^h 
the trapdoor at no great distiM^ice. To be subject to 
such trials for a single day would be dreadful ; but 
these nuns had them to endure for y^ura 

I often felt much compassion for them, and vnsb- 
ed to see them released ; but at other times, yield- 
ing to the doctrine perpetually taught us in the 
Convent, that our future happiness would be pro- 
portioned to the sufferings we had to undergo in 
this world, I would rest satisfied that their imprk- 
onment was a real blessing to them. Others, I pre- 
sume, participated with me in such feelings. One 
Sunday afternoon, after we had perft)rmed all our 
ceremonies, and were engaged as usual, at that 
time, with backgammon and other amusements, cme 
of the young nuns exclaimed, **0h, how heacbtrong 
are those wretches in the cells — they are as bad as 
the day they were first put in f " 

This exclamation was made, as I supposed, in 
consequence of some recent conversation vrith them, 
as I knew her tp be particularly acquainted with 
the older one. 

Some of the vacant cells were occasionally used 

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il'tACX NUNNERY. 1^1 

§cft temporary imprisonment Three nuns were 
emifined in them, to my knowledge, for disobedience 
to the Superior^ as she called it. They did not join 
the rest in singing in the evening, being exhausted 
by the various exertions of the day. The Superior 
ordered them to sing, and as they did not comply, 
after her command had been twice repeated, she 
ordered them away to the cells. 

They were immediately taken down into the cel- 
lar, placed in separate dungeons, and the doors shut 
xuad barred upon them. There they remained 
through that night, the following day, and second 
night, but were released in time to attend mass on 
the second morning. 

The Superior used occasionally to show some- 
thing in a glass box, which we were required to 
regard with the highest degree of reverence. It 
Was inadB of wax, and called an Agnus DeL She 
used to exhibit it to us when we were in a state of 
grace: that is, after confession and before sacra- 
ment She said it had been blessed in the very dish 
in tuhich our Semour had eatem It was brought 
ftrom Rome. Every time we kissed it, or even 
boked at it, we were told it gave a hundred days 
release front purgatory to ourselves, or if we did 
not neod it, to our next of kin in purgatory, if not a 
Protiestant. If we had no such kinsman, the bene- 
fit was to go to the souls in purgatory not prayed for. 

Jane Ray would sometimes say to me, "Let's 
kiss it — some of our friaids will thank us for it.'' 

I have been repeatedly employed in carrying 

* . Digitized by Google 

192 BLACK Ifri^NERT. 

dainties of different kinds to the little private room 
I have mentioned, next beyond th«Sciperioat'« sitlin^- 
room, in the second story, which the priests made 
their " Holy Retreat^' That room I never was. al- 
lowed to enter. I could only go to the door with a 
waiter of refreshments, set it down upon a little stand 
near it, give three raps on the door, and then r^re 
to a distance to await orders. When any thing 
was to be taken away, it was placed on the ^and by 
the Superior, who then gave three raps for m6, and 
closed the door. 

The Bishop I saw at least once when he appear^ 
ed worse for wine, or something of the kind. After 
partaking of refreshments in the Convent, he sent 
for all the nuns, and, on our appearance, gave us 
his blessing, and put a piece of poundcake on the 
shoulder of each of us, in a manner which appeared 
singular and foolish. 

There are three rooms in the Black Nunnery 
which I nev6r entered. I had enjoyed much liber- 
ty, and had seen, as I supposed, all part3 of the 
building, when one day I observed an old nun go 
to a corner of an apartment near the northern end 
of the western wing, push the end of her scissors 
into a crack in the panelled wall, and pull out a 
door. I was much surprised, because I never had 
conjectured that any door was there; and k appear- 
ed, when I afterward examined the place, that no 
indication of it could be discovered on the closest 
scrutiny. I stepped forward to «ee what was with- 
in, and saw three rooms opening int^ each other; 

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bBt the nun rdiiaed to Admit me within* the ioot, 
which she said led to rooms kept as depc^tories. 

She herself entered and closed the door, so that 
I could not satisfy my curiosity ; and no occasion 
presented its^. I always had' a strong desire to 
know the use of these apartments : for I am sure 
they musA have been designed for some purpose of 
which I was intentionally kept ignorant, otherwise 
they would never have remained unknown to me 
so long. Besides^ the old nun evidently had some 
strong reasons for denying me admission, though 
she endeavoured to quiet my curiosity. 
. The Superior, after my admission into the Con- 
vent, had told me that I had access to every room 
in the building ; and I had seen -places which bore 
witness to the cruelties and the crimes committed 
under her commands or sanction ; but> here was a 
succession of rooms which had been concealed 
from me, and so constructed as if desig^:)ed to be 
unknown to all but a few. I am sure that any 
person, who might be able to examine the wall in 
that place, would pronounce that secret door a sur- 
prising piece of work. I never saw any thing of 
the kind which appeared to me so ingenious and 
skilfully made. I told Jai^e Ray what I had seen, 
and she said, at once, " We will get in and see 
what is there." But I suppose she never found an 

I naturally felt a good deal of curiosity to learn 
whether such scenes, as I had witnessed in the 
death of Saint Francis, were common or rare, and 

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took an oppoitanity to inquire of Jane Ray. Her 
reply was — 

" Oh, yes ; and there were many murdered while 
you was a novice, whom you heard nothing about" 

This was all I ever learnt on the subject ; but al- 
though I was told nothing of the manner in which 
they were killed, I supposed it to be the same which 
I had seen practised, viz. by smothering. 

I went into the Superior's parlour one day for 
something, and found Jane Rayjtl^ere alone, looking 
into a book wit^ an appearance of interest. I ask- 
ed her what it was, but she made some trifling an- 
swer, and laid it by, as if unwilling to let me take 
it. There are two bookcases in the room ; one oh 
the right as you enter the door, and the other oppo- 
site, near the window and the sofe. The former 
contains the lecture-books and other printed vol- 
umes, the latter seemed to be filled with note and 
account books. I have often seen the keys in the 
pookcases while I have been dusting the furniture, 
and sometimes observed letters stuck up in the 
room ; although I never looked into one, or thought 
of doing so, as we were under strict orders not to 
touch any of them, and the idea of sins and pen- 
ances was always pres«it with me. 

Some time after the occasion mentioned, I was 
sent into the Superior's room, with Jane, to arrange 
it ; and as the same book was lying out of the case, 
she said, " Come, let us look into it." I immediate- . 
ly consented, and we opened it, and turned over 
several leaves. It was about a foot and a half loog. 

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as nearly as I can ro^ckember, a footwicte, and about 
two inches thick, though I cannot speak with par* 
ticular precision, as Jane ^ghtened me almost as 
soon as I touched it, by exclaiming, "There, you 
have, looked into it, and if you tell of me, I will of 

The thought of being subjected to a severe pen- 
ance, which I had reason to apprehend, fluttered me 
very much; and although I tried to overcome my 
fears, > I did not ISUCceed very well. I reflected, 
however, that the sin was already committed, and 
that It \^ould not be increased if I examined the 
book. I, therefore, looked a little at several pag^ 
though I still felt a good deal of agitation. I saw, 
at once, that the volume was a record of the en- 
trance of nuns ai^ novices into the Convent, and of 
the births that had taken place in the Convent. 
Entrks of the last description were made in a brief 
manner, on the following plan : I do not give the 
names or dates as real, but only to show the form c^ 
Altering them. 
Saint Mary delivered of a son, March 16, 1834. 
Saint Clarice •• daughter, April 2, ♦• 
Saint Matilda " daughter, April 30, " 
No mention was made in the book of the death of 
the childrai, though I well knew not one of them 
eould be living at that time. 

Now I presume that the period the book embra- 
ced, was about two years, as several names near the 
beginning I knew; but I can form only a rough 
owrfccture of the number of infents born, and mur* 

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dared of course, records of whicb it contaiaed. i 
suppose the book contained at le^Ht one hundred 
pages, that oob fourth were writtoi upon, and that 
each pag<e contained fifteen distinct records. Seve- 
lal pages were devoted to the list of births. On this 
supposition there must have been a large numb^, 
which I can easily believe to have been bom ^re 
in the course of two years. 

What were the contents of the oth^r booki be^ 
longing to the same case with tluit whidi I locked 
into, I have no idea, having never dared to toucii 
one of them; I b^eve, however, that Jfme Ri^^ 
was well acquainted vnth them, kiiovnng,^is I da, 
her intellig^]bce and prying disposition. If she 
could be brought to give her testinumy, she would 
doubtless unfold many curious particulars now ua*> 

I am able, in consequence of a circumstancei 
which appeared accidental, to sta^ vri&L eonfidei^e 
fte exact number of persons in the Convent <me day 
of the week in which I left it. This maybe a poii^ 
of some interest, as several secret deaths had occur- 
red since my taking the veil, and many burials had 
been openly made in the chapel. 

I was appointed^ at the time mentioned, to lay out 
itB covers for ail the inmates of the Convent, Incluf 
dingthe nuns in the cells. Thiese covers, as I Imve 
said before, were linen bands, to be bound around 
the knives, forks, spoons, and napkins, for eatiiig. 
These were for all the nuns and noviceis, and 
amounted to two hundred and ten. As the number 

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BLACK MVNirtm; 197 

of noYices vms tken about thirty, I knew that tkere 
mti^ have heea at that time ahout one hundred 4ind 
eighty veiled nuns. 

I was occasionally troubled with a desire of es- 
caping fih>m the nunnery, and was much distressed 
whenever I Mt so evil an imagination rise in my 
ininji. I believed that it was a sin, a great sin, and 
did not fail to ccmfess at every opportunity, that I 
filt discont^t My confessors informed me that I 
was beset by an evil spirit, and urged me to pray 
against it.' Still, however, every now and then, I 
would think, " Oh, if I could get out I" 

At Je»gth one of the-priests, to whom I had con 
fessed this sin, informed me, for my comfort, that he 
had begun to pray to Saint Anthony, and hoped his 
^itjereession Would, by-and*by, drive away the evil 
i^irit. My deaire of escape was partly excited by 
the foar of bringing an infant to the murderous 
hands of my companions, or of taking a potion 
whose violent efiects I too well knew. 

One evening, however, I found myself more filled 
with the desire of eacaipe than ever j and what ex- , 
ertions I made to dismiss the thought, proved en- 
tirely tmavailing. During evening prayers, I be- 
came quite occupied with it ; and when the time for 
meditation arrived, instead of foiling into a doze as 
I often did, although I was a good deal fotiguod, I 
found no difficulty in keeping awiUce. When this 
exercise was over, and the other nuns were about to 
retire to the sleeping*room, my station being in the 

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private sick'Hoon^ for the night, I ¥^hdi>ewto my 
poalt, which was the little sitting'voom adjoinmg it 

Here, then, I thiew myself upon the 80&, an^ 
being alone, reflected a few moments on the manner 
oi escaping which had occurred to me. The phy** 
sician Imd arrired a little b^^re, at hal^past eight ; 
and I had now to accompany him, as usual, ^om 
bed to bed, with pen, ink, and paper, to write down 
his prescriptions £:>r the direction of the old nua^, 
who was to see them admiidstered. What I wrote 
Uiat evening, I cannot now recollect, as my mind 
was uncommonly agitated ; but my customary way 
vrwi to note down briefly his orders in this manner : 
I d salts, St. Matilde. 
1 blister, St. G^eviete, &c. Ac, 

I remember that I wrote three such orders thst 
evening, and then, having finished the rounds, I re- 
turned for a few minutes to theeitting-roonL 

There were two ways of accesB to the street from 
those rooms : first, the more direct, from the passage 
adjoming the sick-room, down^etairs, through a door, 
ii^o the nunnery-yard, and through a wicket-gate ; 
that is the way by which the physician usually en* 
ters at night, and he is provided with a key for thai 

It would have been unsa^ however, for me ta 
pass out that way, because a man is kept continually 
in the yard, near the gate, who sleeps at night in a 
•mall hut near the door, to escape whose observa- 
tion would be impossible. My only hope, there- 
fore, was, that I might gain my passage through 

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BfiJItfll HVHVmvit t%d 

die odwr way, to do wMoh I must pans tlinmgh 
the sick-room, then through a passage, or small 
loom, tisnally occtipied by b^ old nun ] another 
passage and stoireaso leading down to the yard, and 
» large gate openhig into the cross street. I had 
m^ l&ei^ ev^ to go beyond the sick-room, and 
%»ew that seTeral of tlw doors might be listened, 
fitil}, I determined to try; although I have often 
Mce been astonished at my boldness in undertaking 
what would expose me to so many hazards of &il* 
iire, and to severe punishment if found out. 

It seemed as if I acted under some extraordinary 
^impttlse^ which encouraged me to do what I should 
hardly at any other moment have thought of under- 
taking. I had set but a short time upon the so&» 
however^ before I rose, with a desperate determina- 
tion to make the experiment I therefore walked 
hastily across the aiek-room, passed mto the nun's 
room, walked by her in a great hurry, and almost 
witlK>ut giving her time to speak or think, said, — 
<* A message !" and in an instant was through the 
door, and in the next passage. I think there wnfi 
another nun with her at the moment ; wad it is prob- 
able that my hurried manner, and prompt intima- 
tion that I was sent on a pressing mission to the Su- 
perior, prevented them from entertaining any sus- 
picion of my intention. Besides, I had the written 
orders of the physician in my hand, which may 
have tended to mislead them; and it was well 
known to some of the nuns, that I had twice left the 
Gonv)3nt and returned from choice ; so that I was 

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INTobaUy more likely to be trusted to lemaia tlnQ 
many of tl^ others. 

The passage wh^ I had now reached had ser- 
eral doors, with all which I was acquainted; that on 
the opposite side opened into a community-room, 
where I should probably have found some of tks 
old nuns at that hour, and they would certainly 
have stopped me. On the left, however, was a 
large door, both locked and barred; but I gave tiia 
door a sudden swing, that it might creak as little as 
possible, being of iron. Down the stairs I hurried* 
and making my way through the door into the 
yard, stepp^ across it, unbarred the great gate., and 
was at liberty 1 

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I Have now reached the close of what appeared 
'in my first editions. Some of my readers may feel 
a wish to know what has heen said of me and my 
book, by those whose character or connexions it ex- 
poses. Different persons have expressed to me 
their fears that I should be kidnapped, stabbed, or 
poisoned ; but of this I have had but little apprehefa- 
sion. Others may suppose that the priests of Mon- 
treal, and some of those in New York, against 
whom I have made different charges, may have ap- 
peared against me in ways of which they are igno- 
rant, and have published facts, or used arguments of 
serious import, if not of decided force. For the in- 
formation of my readers, I have determined, though 
at some inconvenience, to lay before them a fair 
view of what they have done. 

I was well convinced before the publication of my 
first book, that the priests would do or say very lit- 
tle against me or my work ; and several persons can 
testify, that I made declarations of this kind, with 
distinctness, in their presence. The reasons I gave 
for this opinion WBre these, — ^that they feared an in- 
vestigation, and that they feared further disclosures. 
They must desire to keep the public mind calm, 
and diverted with other matters ; and to avoid ijt- 

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creasing my lU-will. Thejp were mdividaalB, I 
was well aware, both in and out of the nunnery, and 
the Seminary, who, from the first notice of the ap- 
pearance of my book, would be extremely disquieted, 
until they had ascertained the extent to which my 
developments reached. When they had read for 
themselves, I well knew, they would enjoy a tem- 
porary relief, finding that my ** Disclosures" were 
not the most " awful" which they had reason to ex- 

I also felt, that they would apprehend something 
further from me; and that a dread of this would 
probably keep them quiet, or confine them to gene- 
ral denials of my story. And this has been the case, 
even to so great a degree, that the remark has been 
oflen repeated — ^how feeble is their defence ! Why 
did they not rather remain silent than do so little — 
that which is for them worse than nothing ? The 
causes of this I could assign. The world does not 
understand them all. 

Three principal grounds of opposition have been 
taken against me by my enemies — 1st, That I had 
never been in the Hotel Dieu Nunnery ; 2d, That 
my character entitled me to no confidence ; 3d, That 
my book was copied, ** word for word, and letter for 
letter," from an old European work, called " The 
Gates of Hell opened." Besides these grounds, 
several others have been attempted, but less seri- 
ously supported — such as that I was deranged, or 
subject to occasional alienation of mind ; and that I 
was not Maria Monk, but a counierfeit of a person 

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ftfe«iVTM«'SOi^ ««« WORK. -005 

Ihe Black Nimnery. 

=t^^^f««gml^ll»e&nCof theo» g^fib^ I will 
here sisKplf «ay; dsi^ it has been, ^ysnd controwr- 
9 y, ^ prinei^l eoe; but hat Meen^^l^pMi i^an- 
imei. Tik great ob^ «^ the aix^effi(^t^.p«|b- 
^ielMd in M&titfeal m K^c^na^er, t63S, andrefxib- 
4ished kmte eoen af^ the-pabhcatidn of my. book, 
was to ptoifm tbat I had net«r beeaa-aan^*-^not even 

' a n6Ti<^. The Mder inayj«N^ finr himael^. for 
^the«i^ aiflUft?^'afid>{ml>]khed in fbi^tfi.tbis^ohttne, 
ami they are the only ones*wi)ich' haYebeen pib- 
^liahed against ti&e. The reader Tvilt also see in an 
^traet from theT^ew Ymk Oathoiic Diary of A&ich 

'test that that ftu^ is «dmit(ed|-aflfd*^ a laterex- 
iract from it;^that a<>i!iM(dian j^nest who takes th«r 

' !^6uble to^rite ^om g^rbrooke, has no new testi- 
mony to tefer to. 

As to my eharattster, I never cla»9EH»^ ^e esKfi* 
'dencasof the Amenean peo|rfe, (a»^ Rema&prtests 

^do,) on a pretence of peeidiar heiinesref life. That 
wodld have beeti nnreifiaionable in m sttangert and 
especially i^e who had been in a sannery. My 

' first editions, as well i« the {^resent, bear witness 

'tli^t I aq[^pealed to the e?ktenceol£rots which no one 

'deuld eoi^oVeH if onee prodaced— *«(i exannaatien 

of the intmor of my^kite prison.' Net a lisp has 

yet been heard of assent t<!^ my pi<(^[)osition. The 

Prot^^nt asseciatioii have palAished a challenge, 

for sevtml weeks, which is on atiother pi^ among 


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nbe « rtfim » i > 4>^ aa mt-hAM •cea ptt d it^tmAti ivtfi 
vei^re to s^, no one will. 

My-pttl^s^eia, 6n •etwgdK JWHPlioii inirie by 

1^ editor of 4li6 Bestep (Roimii CMelifr) 'f^l^t, 

. tkftt OB^ book WOT a movo OQpy bmoj^a oUfw^- 

.|MBH,?9^fa, e«}led. •^The Gfttos- of NhiU ofmod," 

pnUithod ftii otifey of #109 finriu^ book «0'MM||nh 

.btegil— ^vntbo«t4iiocosi^ If th««e be iu»f vo)^ii|&e 

..o» «arth wbkh. eontftkM tbo^ devolopmoByls oii^my 
fttfhi«e nuttv wlme cmo yw i^ robtqd myromf^. I 
«lKmkl ei^MCt it ^mtetkmt^mJ^mh^^bo^; 
«ttd i shottki koo^ how to oxcwio tke ^otkor >r 
using so 8trotig4tii oKpregism, a#eriitc«^ing» «s 
IJb&ve hftd to do^ ia giviing-tny ^oim racfat^r^b 
tho6eieoliag:8 nckich me sf» a|it lo tna^^^gy ];^9»rt 

. at the rocoUeetion of flfcwwn I Myppinttj^ tbioiigh 
.The^-opeaing of the G^M «f ii«U» whetber ^ou a 
European or a Canadian Conr^iit, xnay p^^babiy 
diaclofle •eenee, very Uke- to.ei^ 'Other ; . but if there 
be any reeembkiQ^ between my botjk and any c^r 
in the vcwhk Ji 0i»le»nly declace that .jt can be 

. owing oyiy to a reeetnblanee between the things de- 
scribed in both, as not a sentence haB been copied 
from any bock-witfUeTfir, and I dej^the editor of.ihe 
Boeton^ Pilot^Qot to pdijur^ himself, as h&groitui- 
UxuAy propo9e<^-t-bul to do what would be at once 
much more difficult and iatis&ctory)-i-*produce his 
book, or a single ^page of it. 

I have been ebaofged with 0(:casii9nal alienation of 
noind^-a very strong evidence, I should think, of my 
being a nun; for what eloped mm ever escaped that 

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• <:> 

awaynu^ ^e eommonly profitounce^^ be out of 
their wits, or under the influence of evil spirits, or 
CQRTi^ on the ground that this is proved by the feet : 
itfett- '. ...... . . ^ 

.JkiB to istfhemgihe neal Maain. Monk oxnc^ I prev. 
steke the* te«laiiiony of some of my tjld sqhootmate*, 
now in New York, will pass. To these, however, * 
it cannot be necessary to resort, otherwise the Mon- 
tmsd a^avits will be good for nothing. 

^wiii nam ]^oted to give Me vdtohof the teotir > 
nMay whlch^9 he«ii broo^ht wA againsd me. A- 
few.femaffei, necc'ssary to acquaint the reader with 
the progress of things, .will be given in their place. 
Next, to the$e will appear the testimony oC so^emi 
pvtftMO; who teve^yeloHtuiiypfaieated thoBi^TeKi'* 
nt»8e ^e puBl^tiim df my^rst ii<Htion, claimed ac-. 
quamtance witt me, and volunteered their testirao- 
By. I need jaol say how gratifying I have, found, 
saeh ftpentiM^eous-aimckP of kindness; &oi|a IH^ds, 
wh«ie 7eddytiii ovsoliettMl iq^pdMmiee is n real 
fevour \<> me, although chie#^ due; as they declare, 
ttf ther^ love offruth and justice. . 

Almo^ immediately after the appearance of my 
••A^Y^il E^sciosi^es/' t^e. fpUo^ing anonymous 
. Wdbill wm difitsibi^94 throi«^ the cit|r ot N^if * 
^PmtIi ^w«ralic>puliliitivi«iatheOatl^^ 
aid oth;^ pitpftrd, ^kh violent ttehutt6iatioilff. 

''l/HalUihk fitvfiUi s^'A^Mitreal paper, gives as the 
dmmmmt of <Ik tale or^eaoHar which» t^: Prwtmim^ 

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iMurd a few months siaoe, and wliiesh the P^o^efitinit.K^, 
kors of three pcditical journals in Montreal, at once 
indignantly repelled without knowing its origin, tn^ 
stead of an eloped Knn, recounting (he horrors df the 
Conrent, the heroine of the tale is a Protestant ycfQS% 
girl, whQ has been, for fobr jaars.* part moaiKt pm»e* 
tuyi of a Mr. Hi^ite, once a^led a (Levecand MethMUq(^ 
Preacher, and connected with Canadian Sunday Sc)iool$^ , 
The paper quoted above, gives, at full length, the affidavits 
of the mother of the girl, who is also a Protestant, and of * 
several other ihdividiuds, who iuul no niolive to fkv^ottfr' 
Caibolic IfistilulloiiB. The <liaeo«salflie«i«thcf tesiili«ioA 
o«th tha$ she had bean.eoUcitfHl |i^ tibe^fiQei^'Of Mr ch|i(|.r 
to swear that she was a Nun, and that the father 9^^ the . 
infant was a Catholic Clergyman — that a promise had, 
been made her of a comfortable provision for herself/ 
ana Ibr her unfortttnate ebild Md c^Esj^g-^^ she wtAlJT 
ooljr^dotbBt. Tfe»poor woanii hadjiBitM anm^lbKj 
Tc^^t the base proposal; and. thios, .the T^y. Mr. Bog^ta^ 
who had returned from New-York for this purpose, ac- 
companied, it is stated, by the Rev. Mr. Brewster anct 
Judge Turner, failed in the object of his visit. 

*<A BSethodlB^Pteaeh€r oftfaei^aea ^Ba^MmHf ^Hk- 
c1rafte4 ail oeuEiewH of (Im w^iakf^nntk. Mr. Hfiyio^^M' 
in a t^ter, published in the papeK«,.ezfresse4 bi3 rcgit^ 
that any credit had been given to a foul charge, emanating 
from a source so polluted." — CaiKol^ic Herald. 

"f:^ The affidavits will be published as soon as they 
shall be reccit^ed from Canada.-— Maria Motak*s Bock, Ikx' 
i>«m ii^tiri^ tl^Ci^Mio VMigiett, wi& proiKMte tTj inH . 
tti0 9i^i<wtknLi< a.iMdMhi09iOi the/ W!iK^Be#M»i ««at 
hypocrisy. of ii» enen^, wJ?D,daro toga as far an ^o C9|r^ 
ceal their own crimes, by calumniating those who never 
did any thing against them, and have never interfered 
wHh Ukeap-<-Probafafy th^ ^tSOuBt o£ ms" pi0iuimk^^ a 
r; an^ wMit » more rcwaurkable, iMt a ^isgie otch 

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fl^ainst it^ as it is their dulj to 4o^ the calumniators being 
of their own congregations, faowever, by holding a prayer- 
meeting, making a few faceSy and giving a few affecting 
turns to their roices, they certainly have already washed 
oat the ftwM crime of these calumnifie, because ^h 
alone will sare. th«m, and they certainly ha?e the true 
faith, which shows itself by these true fruits of chsj^ity^ 
•they are the elect, and consequently, they are not lil?e the 
<t?athofic Priests, who are all wicked. — The reader may 
iiecoD«et the par*bleof the |&arisee a^d the puMican. 

• ♦ ♦ « ♦ - ♦ • . 

"Granting the truth of Maria Monk's story, will it not 
reveal the weakness of Protestant origin 1 Where would 
Protestantism be, were it not engendered and nursed by 
pEofl%ate Monka^md Nttns 1 T^, gentlemen, profl^atif 
M<mkB «id Kms haw beoi your JsnrtfiBg .Fftibers and 
Mothers ! The chaste spouse of the, Redeemer could hoMk 
no fellowship with such characters. She has .flung them 
over the fences of the ' fold,' ^^1^ to have a sink into 
trtoch 150 fhisow heir iHth."' 

A»«ot»iAS my ^itst editmi af^oarod, ftevmail of 
the newspapers of New York referred to the pab^ 
lication in terms of unqualified condemnation. Not 
content with giving my motives in producing it, 
without having seen me, they hesiteted not to pro- 
Htmnce fe tttterly feline, with as tmtch' boldness as if 
they had really known somethi rig more of the mat- 
ter thaji the public at large. A poor and injured 
female had disclosed to their < countrymen, h^is of 
ibep interest to^allf and they, witiKmt examination, 
pCTfiape without leaving their of^es to make a sin- 
gle inquiry, did their utmost to decry me, and used 
terms which ^l\ey cannot but regret sooner or later- 

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im / -^ ^ MMrmBUL 

to listen lo eyidcHcc, xvhkli were not aceepted. *Ke 
editors of the Courier and Enquirer were requested, 
in a note &om the publishers, to mention in theix 
paper what parts of my book they intended to pro* 
nonnce &he, and what was their evidence. But 
diey took no notice of it, although desired tb pub- 
lish the note. Many other editors were invited m^ 
publish oommunioatioaa qi extracts, but most ot 
them refused from the first, and all the papers were 
soon closed against my cause. 

In the country, the newspaper^ geiiQraIly« I.b*? 
lieve, followed the example aet in thia oity, th(Mifl| 
ID Albany, Boiteii, and eoe or two other jplaceB,^ 
solitar}*' one or two appeared disposed to examine 
the subject. 

At length appeared the loog^hieaiened MoatrefU 
affidavits, which are here inserted. They were 
jpubliBhed in sevemi Roman Oathotic, aiid one or 
two Protestant papers of New York, wih thfa in- 
troduction — 

" Of all the carious pranks and fkaatical sehemes wMcli 
the foes of Catholicity have been playing for some yeaift 
past, there is not one that Alls the mind with greater disgust 
than the scandaUms tale given to the pablic by Maria Monk 
and her wieked asao<^ate. 

'' By the evidence which covers the followuig pagesi th» 
reader will see the mam himself <dearly coavicted of being 
a base calumniator^ and arch-4iypocrite. He, and his aaso* 
elate prostitute, will be seen, with brazen impudence, at- 
tempting to fii 6n the virtuous Catholic La^ic^ and Cmthb- 

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BIOXPTIO^ 0f Vifl WOMC. tit > 

l|p ^aap^49f |lQntrcal» the shameless character whieh-bd- 

Prom the Montreal Coitrigr^ Nov. 16, 1835 
^* The Neio YotIc Protestant Vindicator of the 4di No- 
vember, reiterates Its calumnies concerning the Romaa 
Catholic Clergy and Nuns of this city. We cherished ^he 
hope that, after the mmoltaaeoas and unammoos ezpres- 
iiaa^ot ctiisboUeC a«d repreheoiioii wUh which its extrava- 
gMt ussertions had hewkmet by theLGanadian press, both 
Ffotestant and Cath<^c, the cosdnctors of that journal 
would have beeaslow to r«feat, wUhout better evidence oi 
their, troth, Um same disgr^iceful charges* We have been 
deceived in oar ealeulfttion. The fanatical print demqnd$, 
e^mUer evid^nof belore it will withdraw, or acknowledgt 
tbe iftteehood of iu prmoos statements. We believe that 
ctmnkr evidence has been already adduced, of a nature far 
sttcpassifig, in weight, the claims to credibility which th» 
accusatiofts theuaselveti could oSeu The impure fabrica- 
tion trumped, up by a woman of immoral character and in« 
aane mind, in coojunetion wilti a man of equally depraved 
hahit^ can never be weighed in. the balance with the testi« 
^noony of i^roiestaftts, living in the same community -as the 
accused, and, therefore, posaessing the means of judging of 
Ihe truth or falsehood of what was advanced. Byany per- 
scM)6 of less intenested creduli^, and of more discrimination 
and moral honesty, than what the conductors of the ProU> 
imA Viwdict^ appear to possess, counter evidence of tfao 
above nature would, have been deen»ed sufficient. 

'* There are two reasons which hfive mainly weighed with 
1^ to revert to the subject of the PntteitaTU VUidicator'M 
charges, and to publish the subjoined lengthy documents. 
We eonsi^^t, in the firs^ place, our ^deavours to expose 
falsehood a$ a solemn di»<j we owe to tho defamed ; and, 
ia tfe «econd, we should r«Mn| onsselves to lie degraded 
Ia th« ^e»of the world, di^Rjive in a coBMnunity where 
dich abominations, as are alleged, existed, and taot^^x^ 
openly and loudly, to idemmnce the perpetra^ne. 

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^\i ktnwttx. 

"TTiider these unptessions, we proceed, at' a cOt^ftiiri>l«^ 
sacrifice of the space of our joomal, to Hj Mbf« Mr rek^- 
ers the following affidavits, which will soficieatlj disclose 
die nature of the ProUskmt Vindicator'i calumnies, their 
origin, and the degree of credit which can be attached to 

' them." 

" (afpidatit Of »R. BOwarsoN.) 

« William Robertson, of Montreal, Doctor in MedkiM^ 
being dttly sworn on the Holy Bymgelisis, deposech ai^- 
saith as foHows:>-bn the 9th of Normnber, 1884, three 
Bien camenp to my house, haying a young female in com^ 
pany with them, who, they said, was observvd that forei 
noon, on the bank of the Canal, near the extremity of the 
St. Joseph Subarbs, acting in a manner which induced 
some people who saw her to tbmk fhsM she intenifod to^ 
drowA herself. They took her into a house in the netgh« 
beurhood, where, affcer being there some hours^ apd intei^ 
regated as to who she was, &c,8he said she was the daugh^ 
ter of Dr. Robertson. On recetving this inlbrmation) they 
brought her to my house. Being from lM>me when itttff 
came to the door, and learning from Mrs. Robert^n thai 
she had denied them, they eonveyed her to the watd^ 
house. Upon hearing this atory, in company with Q; 
Auldjo, Esq., of this city, I went to the watch-house 
to inquire into the affair. We found the young i^male, 
whom I have since ascertained to be Maria Monte; 
daughter of W. Monk, of this city, in custody. She 
said, that although she was not ixiy daughter, she was the 
child of respectable parents, in, or very near Montreal, 
who, from some light conduct of hers, (arising from tem- 
porary insanity, to which she was at tistes subject from her 
infancy,) had kept her confined atid chained in a cellar for 
the last four years. Upon examtnatio^j no mark ot i^ 
pearance indicated the weafj&gof maHacles, or any other 
mode of restraint. She siudr,1on my dbserving this, ^at h A 
mother alwajrs took care to coyer the irons with seftclote 
to pirevant tbftm iopilng the skin. From the ai^aranee 

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MCtH'tO^ OF THE WO&jk;; * 2lS- 

of fcer htftr^a,* jihe ©?i4coUy ,1«4 not been used, to work. 
Ta remove her from tlie watch-house, where she was con- ^ 
fined with; some of the most proj^gate women of the town, 
tak^iv np ^f inc^brietj and disorderly conduct in the streets^ 
as she could not give a satisfactory account of herself, I, as 
a Justice of the Peace> sent her to jail as a vagrant. The 
following morning, I went to the jail for the purpose of as- 
certaining, if possible, who she was. After considerable 
persuasion, she promised to divulge her story to the fev. 
H. Esson, one of the clergymen of the Church of Scotland, 
to whose congregation she said her parents belonged. That 
gentleman did call at the jail, and ascertained who she 
was. In the course of a few days she was released, and 1 
did not see her again until the month of August last, when 
Mr. Johnston, of Grifllntown, Joiner, and Mr. Cooley, of 
the St. Ann Suburbs, Merchant, called upon me, about ten 
o'clock at night, and, after some prefatory remarks, men- 
tioned that the object of their visit was, to ask me, as a ma- 
gistrate, to institute an inquirjr^nto some very serious 
charges which had been made against some of the Roman 
Catholic Priests of the place, and the Nuns of the General 
Hospital, by a female, who h^ |wen a Nun in that Institu-. 
tion fpr four years^ and who had 2ivulged the horrible se- 
crets of that establishment, such as the illicit and criminal 
intercourse between the Nuns and the Priests, stating par- 
ticulars of such depravity of conduct, on the part of these 
people, in this respect, and their murdering theofl&pring of 
these criminal connexions, as soon as they were bom, to 
the number of fronv thirty to forty cveyy yew. linstantly 
stated, that I did not believe a word of what they told me, 
and that. they must have been imposed upon by some evil^ 
disposed and djssigning perscm. Upon inquiry who this 
J^un, their informant, was, I discovered that she answered 
exactly the description of Maria Monk, whom I had so 

^ * Ckoopure this wHh the last sen^nce but one in this affidavit. 
Why dee» Dr. R. not five names of persons aiid their a^darltsl It 
luispotyee bfeen done-^AprH, I8». ' 

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214 " Appufmt. 

niQch trouble about lastyesr, anil mention^ to* these itx^-' 
Tidaals my suspicion, and what I knew of ^lat imfortniiiite 
girl. Mr. Cooley said to Mr. Johnston, let us go home, We 
are hoaxed. They told me that she wgs thm at Mr. Joliit- 
ston's house, and requested me to call there, and hear her ' 
own story. The next day, or the 4ay following, 1 did cillj ' 
and saw Maria Monk, at Mr. Johnston's boose. She re- 
peated in my presence the substance of what was mentioned 
to me before, relating to her having been m the Nunnery 
for four years ; having taken the black veil ; the crimes 
committed there j and a variety of other circumstances 
concerning the conduct of the Priests and Nuns. A Mr. 
Hoyte was introduced to me, and was present during the 
whole of the time that I was in the house. He* was repre- 
sented as one of the persons who had come in from New' 
York with this young woman, for the purpose of investi- 
gating into this mysterious affair. I was asked to take her 
deposition, on her oath, |s to the truth of what she hact 
stated. I declined doing"^ so, giving as reason, that, ftom 
'iny knowledge of her character, I considered her assertions 
upon oath were not entitled to more credit than her bare 
assertion, and that I did not believe either \ intimating, at 
the same time, my willingness to take the necessary steps for 
a full investigation, if they could get any other person to 
corroborate any part of her solemn te.stimony, or if a direct 
charge were made against any particular individual of a 
criminal nature. During the first interview with Messrs. 
Johnston and Cooley, they mentioned, that Maria Monk 
had been found in New York in a very destitute situation by 
some charitable individuals, who administered to her neces- 
sities, being very sick. She expressed a wish to see a clergy- 
man, as she had a dreadful secret which she wished to di' 
vulge before she died ; a clergyman visiting her, she related 
to him the alleged crimes of the Priests and Nuns of the Gen- 
eral Hospital at Montreal. After her I'ecovery, she was vis- 
ited and examined by the Mayor and some lawyers at New 
York, afterward at Troy, in the State of New York, od 

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RKC£PT|$I|L9¥ TBS WORI^ 215 

rf{i64Hh3«0t i J»d I widwrstpod Aem to «ay, that Mr. Hoyte 
«Bcl ti^o olfeer gftntle&wn, one of them a lawyer, were scait 
'«o Bioatfoal wkh'iier, for the purpose of examining into the 
(ntth of the aecusatioss thus ma<le> Although incredulous 
06 4a the truth of Maria Monk's stoiy, I thought it incum- 
, . hent upon me to make some inquiry concerning it, and 
..have ascertained where she has been residing a great part 
of the time she states having ^en an ianrnte of the Klm- 
,iiery. Puring the summer of 1832 she was at service in 
William Henry's j ihe winters of 1832-3, she passed in 
this neighbourhood, at St. Ours and St Denis, ^he ac- 
counts given of her conduct that season corroborate the 
^pinions I had before entertained of her character. 

"W. Robertson. 
" Sworn before me, at Montreal, this 14th day of Novem- 
ber, 1836. « Bekj^ Holmes, J. P." 

(AFFIDAVrr or MY||pTHER.) 

' "On this day, the tW€»ty-fourth day oi October, one thou- 
sand eight hundred and thirty-five, bef(^?e me> William Rob- 
ertson, one of his Majesty's Justices of the Peace for the dis- 

' tnct of Montreal, came and appeared Isabella Mills,* of the 
.«ity oi^ontreal, widow of tbe late WHliam Monk, who 
dedared, that wishing to guard the. public ttgainst the de- 
.-ceplkwi w*idb has laitely been practised in Montreal by de- 
signing men, who have taken advantage of the occasional 
ftenfiigement of her dau^ter, to make scandalous accusa-^ 
aons against the Priests ^d the Nuns in Moeftreal, and 
ufterward to o^ke her pass herself for a nun, who had 
ieft the Oonveoit. Aad after having made path on the holy 
evangelists, (to say the truth) the ss^id Isabella Mills de- 
•daresAnd says,* man decently dressed (whom afterward 

► I knew to be W. R. Hoyte, stating himself to be a minister 
of New York,) came to my house on or about the m^dle 
of August last, and inquired, for one Mr. Mills; that Mr. 

• My BttoU»er'8 Imide^ name was Mill*. 

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216 A^#ftlH»iit« 

Esson, a minister htttj had xciid Hm 1 6o«M ^fW iMimi* fb* 
formation about that man ; I replied that I ktaew no one ot 
that name in Montreal, bnt that I had a httf^b^ of tliat 
name five miles ont of town. He then told me that hd had 
jhtely come to Montreal, wfth a yonteg woman and child 
of five weeks old ; that the woman had absconded ftbm 
him at Qoodenough's tarem, where they were lodging, 
and left him with the child; he gave me a description of 
the woman :'l unfortnnately discovered that the desci^ 
tion answered my daughter, and the reflection that this 
stranger had called upon Mr. Ess6n, 6\xr 'pastor, and in- 
quiring for my brother, 1 suspected that this was planned : 
I asked for the child, and said that I would place it in a 
nunnery; to that Mr. Hoyte started every objection, in 
abusive language, against the nuns. At last he consented 
to give me the child, provided I would give my writing 
' that it should be presented t^hen demanded. We left the 
house together, Mr. Hoyte requesting me to walk at a dis- 
tance Arom him, as he was a gentleman. I followed him 
to Mr. Qoodenough V Hc^l, and he directed me to room 
Ko. 17, and to demand the child; a servant maid ga«e it 
to me ; Mr. Ho3rte came up, and gvrm me the clothing. I 
came home with the child, and sent Mrs. Tacbert, an old 
acquaintance, in search of my daughter ; ^r deposition 
will be seen. The nelt day, Mr. Hoyt»oame in with an 
elderly man. Dr. Jndge Turner, decently dressed, whom 
he introduced to me as a Mr. Turner, of St. Alban'e. 
They demanded to see the child, which I prodocad. Mr. 
Hoyte demanded if I had discovered the mother; I said 
not. She must be found, said he; shahas taken away a 
shawl aud a bonnet belonging to a servant girl at Ooode- 
nough's ; he would not pay for them ; she had coet him too 
much already; that his thtiigs were kept at the hotel on 
that account. Being afraid that this might more deeply in- 
volve my daughter, I offered my own shawl to replace the 
one taken j Mr. Hoyte first took it, but afterward returned 
it » mn «i my ifr^mise that I would pay for the shawl and 

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RKCSFtfOiV Crtr Tjks WORK. *&it - 

ImiBVt. In the cOvrseof the day, Mrs. Tarbert found^tfty r 
daughter, but rfie would toot come to my house; she'setft 
the bennet and shawl, which were returned to their ownlSry 
who had lent them to my daughteir to assist her in procur- 
ing her escape from Mr. Hoyte at the hotel. Early cm the 
afternoon of the same day, Mr. Hoyte came to my house 
with the same oM man, wishing me to make all my efibrts 
to find the girl, in the meantime speaking very bitterly 
against the Catholics, the Priests, and the Nuns; mention- 
ing that' my daughter had been in the nunnery, where she 
had been ill treated. I denied that my daughter had ever 
been in a nunnery ; that when she was about eight years of 
age, she went to a day-school, ^t that time came in two 
other persons, whom Mr. Hoyte introduced ^ one was the 
' Rev. Mi, Brewster, 1 do not recollect the other reverence's 
name. They all requestedme, in the most pressing terms, to 
try to make it out ; my daughter had been in the nunnery^ 
and that she had some connexion with the Priests of the 
smninary, of which nunneries and Priests she spoke in the 
most outrageous terms ; said, that should I make that out, 
myself, my daughter, and child, would be protected for life. 
I expected lo get rid of their importunities, in relating the 
melancholy circumstances by which my daughter was fte- 
quently deranged in her head, and told them, that when at 
the age oC about sei^en years, she broke a slate pencil ia 
her head ; that since that tim« her mental faculties were 
deranged, and by times much more than at other times, 
bnt that she was far from being an idiot ; that she could '" 
make the most ridiculous, but most plausible stories ; and - 
that as to the history that she had been in a nunnery,it was 
a fiibrication, for she never was in a nunnery; that at one 
time I wished to obtain a place in a nunnery for her ; that 
I had employed the influence of Mrs. De Montenach, of 
Dr. Nelson, and of our pastor, the Rev. Mr. Esson, bnt 
without success. I told them notwithstanding I was a Pro- 
testant, and did not like the Roman Catholic religion— like 
twM other respectable Protestants, I held the priests oC the 

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t^ffnntLty and the nuns of Montnal ia vencratioB, wb. IW 
moil pious and charitable persons I ev^er knew. "Ai^i 
many more solicitations to the same effect, three of then 
retired, but Mr. Hoyte remained, adding to the other 8oti» 
citations ; he was stopped, a person having rapped at the 
door; it was then candlelight. 1 opened the door, and 
found Doctor M'Donald, who told me that ay daughter 
Maria was at his house, in the most di^tressing ^tuation ; 
that she wished him to. come and make her peace with me ; 
I went with the Doctor te his house in M'Gill-street ; she 
came with me to near my house, but would not come in^ 
notwithstanding I assured her that she would be kindly 
treated, and that I would give her her child ; she crossed 
the parade ground, and I went into the house, and returned 
for her. — Mr. Hoyte followed me. She was leaning on the 
west railing of the parade; we Went to her: M^*- Hoyte 
told her, my dear Mary, I am sorry you have treated your- 
self and me in this manner | I hope you have not exposed 
what has passed between us, nevertheless ; I will treat yon 
the same as ever, and spoke to her in the roost -affectionate 
terms ; took her in his arms ; she at first spoke to him very 
cross, and refused to go with hi'm, but at last consented 
and went with him, absolutely refusing to come to my 
house. Soon after, Mr. Hoyte came and demanded the 
child; I gave it to him. Next morning Mr. Hoyte re* 
turned, and was more pressing than in his former solicita- 
tion, and requested me to say that my daughter bad been 
in the nunnery : that should I say so, it would be better 
than one hundred pounds to me ; that I would be protected 
for life, and that I should leave Montreal, and that I would 
be better provided for elsewhere ; I answered, that thou- 
sands of pounds would not induce me to perjure myself; 
then he got saucy and abusive to the utmost ; he said he 
came to Montreal to detect the infamy of the Priests and 
the Nuns ; that he could not leave my daughter destitute 
in the wide Wjorld as I had done ; ailejrward said, No ! she 
it not your daughter, she is too s-ensiole for that, and went 

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« ^ 

RSCSFTldK tf9 irUS WORK. * 21§ 

away. — H* was gone but a few minutes, w4ieh Mr. Doacetv 
aiiTOcient Magistrate in Montreal, entered.^ Thai geii- * 
Ueman toM me that Mr. Goodenough had just now eailed 
upon him, and requested him to let me know that I had a 
ds^ughter in Montreal ; that she had come in With a Mr. 
Hoyte and a child, and that she had left Mr. Ho3rte aiid the 
child, but that she was still in Montreal, so as to enable me 
to look for her, and that I might prevent some mischief 
that was going on. Then I related to him partly what I 
have a^ve said, .When he was gomg, two other gentle- 
men came. I refused to give them any information at 
first, expecting that they Were of the party that had so / 
much agitated me for a few days; but being informed by 
Mr. Doocet, that he knew one o( them, particularly Mr. 
Perkins, for a respectably, citizen for a long time in Mon- 
treal^ and the other, Mr. Curry, two ministers from the 
United States, that if they came to obtain some information 
about the distressing events she related to have occurred 
in her family, he thought it would do no harm, and I rela- 
ted it to them : they appeared to be afflicted with such acir- 
cumstance; I have uot seen them any more. I asked Mr. 
Doucet if the man Hoyte could not be put in jaii ; he re« 
plied that he thought not, for what he knew of the busi^ 
ness. Then I asked if the Priests were inibrmed of what 
WIS going on; he replied, yes, but they never take up 
these things; they allow their character to defend itself. -A 
few days after, I heard that my daughter was at one Mr. 
Johnson's, a joiner, at Griffintown, with Mr. Hoyte ; that 
be passed her for a nun that had escaped from the Hotel 
Dieu Nunnery. I went there two days successively with 
Mrs. Tarbert; the first day, Mrs. Johnson denied her, and 
said that she was gone to New York with Mr. Hoyte. As 
I was returning, I met Mr. Hoyte on the wharf, and I re- 
proached him for his conduct. I told him that my daugh- 
ter had been denied to me at Johnson's, but that I would 
have a search-warrant to have her; when I returned, he 
had really gone v^ith .my unfortunate daughter ; and I t%: 

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.^80 * APPBllMnt 

e^edfttwaM^Johw^n, his wife, and a number of ptr- 
a eons m their house, the grossest ahose, mixed with texts of 
A£ Qospel, Mr. Johns^ bringiDg a BU^le for me to swear 
OR. I retired more deeply afflicted than ever, and fiirtber 
f93r€th not. 
** Bmom before me, this 94th of October, 1835.'* 


DUttrUtofMontruU. S 
"Before me, William Robertson, one of His "NL^es^fs 
Justices of the Feaee. for the District of Montreal, came 
*'''*«nd appeared Nancy M*€hin,*of Montreal, wife of James 
Tarbert, who has requested me to receive this affidarit, 
and declared that she has been intimately acquainted with 
Mrs. (widow) Monk, of Montreul, a Protestant women. 
I know the said Maria Monk ; last spring she told me that 
the father of the child she then was carrying, was burned 
iU Mr. Owsten*^ house. She olten went away in the coun- 
try, and at the request of her mother I accompanied her 
across the rirer. Last summer she came back to my lodg- 
ings, and told me that ^e bad nftade out the father of the 
child; and that very night left me and went away. The 
next morning I found that she was in a house of bad fame, 
where I went for her, and told the woman keeping that 
house, that she oug^ not to allow that girl to remaHi there, 
for she was a. girl of good and honest family. Maria Monk 
then told me that she would not go to him, (alluding, as 1 
understood, to the father of the child,) for that he wanted 
her to swear an oath that would lose her soul fbr ever, but 
jestingly said, should make her a lady for ever. I then told 
her, (Maria,) do not Ibse your soul for money. She told 
me she had swapped her silk gown in the house where 1 
had found her, for a calico one, and got some money to 
boot ; having previously told me if she had some money 
she would go away, and would not go near him any more. 
Soon after, Mr. Hoyte and another gentleman came. Mr. 
Hoyte asked me where she had slept the niglit previous, 

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KBCBPTibW or "mm w.0&m» 9SSI 

and that ht 'woaXd g6 for the sllft gewn ; the wommn show- 
ed the gown, hwi told Mtii that If he woald pay three dol- - 
lars he shook! have the gbwn ; he went away, and came 
back with Mari^ Monk, jf^aid the three dollars and got the 
gown J I was then present. 

'' Being at Mrs. Mohk% I saw k cliild which she mei^ 
tioned to be her daughter Maria^ child. Some time after, 
Mrs. Monk reqtiested me to Kecompany her to Qriffintotrn, 
to look for her dani^hter. We went tb Mr. Johnson's house, 
, a joiner in that Sttburb; wcmit'Mr. Hojrte and he spoke 
to Mrs. Monk ; when at Mis. Johnson's, Mrs. Manly aisked 
"for her daughter; Mrs. Johnson said she was not there. 
I saw Mr. Hoyte at ^rs. Itfonk's; he was in company with 
three other persons, apparently Americans, earnestly enga- 
ged in conversation^ but so much confused I could not 
make out what; and farther sayeth not." , 

" Nanct t M^Gan. 
*' Smtm hehr^ me, oh this^ 24ti^ October, 1835. 
" W. RoWJtWOK, J, P." 


Diatrict qf Montr eoL \ . 

"Before me, William Robertson, one of His Majestjr's 
Justices of the Peace, for the District' of Montreal, appear- 
ed Asa Goodenough, of Itlorlireal, holder of the Exchange 
Coffee' Hou^e, who, after having made oath upon the Holy 
Evangelists, declareth and iayeth, that on or about the 
nineteenth of August last, tD^o gentlemen and a young fe- 
male with a child; put tip at the Exchange Coffee B(ouse,^ 
of which tani the owner; they were entered in the book, 
one under the name of Judge' Turner, the other as Mr. 
Ho3rte,;a Methodist preacher, and agent or superintendent 
for the establishment of Sunday-schools, Sue. 

** Being informed by Catharine Cbnners, a confidential^ 
wYvant, that !?dmething nmi'ttfrious was phasing amongi^ 


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tbt wboro-nMEttd, vhich led me to ctAUm tKem for an «x- 
. planation, they answered in a very unsatisiActQry mannai« 
* J afterward learned tbfU tb» name, of tbe yonnf womao 
was Maria Monk, that her mother lived in town, that she 
waf not married to Mr. Hoyte, and they eame to Montreal 
^idi the view, aa Mr. Hoyte taid, to disclose the infamy o^ 
the Priests, whilst she was at the Nunnery. I tbooght it 
prudent to give informatioA of this to a magistrate. See- 
ing Mr. Doucet^ name on the list, I went to him, and r^ 
quested him to give information to the mother of the youn^ 
woman, of the oircimkstaBces in which her daughter was. 
fie did so, aAd the disclosure of the design of Mr. Hoyta 
was the consequence. 
" Montreal. " Asa Ooodknouoh.'* 

" The following afl&davitt have heea translated ihun the 
VAmi du PtupU, Montreal, Nov. 7, 1835." 


**'PlrovAM« qT Lower Canada, A 
District qf Montreal \ 

*' Before me, W. Robertao«» one of His Maj^y's Justices 
of the t^eace forthe District of Montreal, appeared Catharina 
Conners of Montreal, a servMit in the hotel of Mr. Good- 
enough, in the city of Montreal ; ahe havmg made oath on 
the Holy Evangelists, to say the truth and noching-but Ihe 
tr||th^ declared and said what foHows : 

'' Towards the 19th of August last, two men and a wo- 
man came to the Exchange Coffee Souse ; their names were 
written in the book, one by the name of Judge Turner, and 
the other as Mr. Hoyte ; the name of the woman was not 
written in the book, in which the ttam^s of travellers are 
written, because I was informed that they were taking a 
single room with two beds. Soaoe time after another room 
was given to them for their accommodation ; the woman 
passed for tht wife of Blr. Hoyte. 

" The day following, when I was making the bed, I 
found the woman in tears; having made the lettavk to her 
tet hsr child was a iruj young travallsr, aha replied that 

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BJtosvrmi 0W 'sm* work. * , .Ml * * 

s^ ^ jQipt tke povwr (O difpense vMlL^the jfMiiiM^» ibf . ^ 
th^ travelled on busiB«fls of impotvukee^ she alsosMd iM 
ske bad never had a dajr of hi^piBeai sui«e sbe had kdft 
Montreal, w)uch was four years, with Mr. Hoytc, she e«» 
pressed a wish to go and see her lather. She entreated sAe 
to try and procure secretly clothes for her, ior M«« Hoyte ^ 
wished to dine with her in his own ro9«, in which he was 
then taking care of the child. I gave her my alukwl and 
bonnet,, and conducted, her secretly ont by the street Qt. 
Pierre; she never returned, and left the child in the hands 
q£ Mr. Hoyte. She said that her kuaband was a Miftbodist 
preacher, and agent of the Sunday Schools for Monlital, 
iA which he hafl resided four months last winter; bit she 
had not then beea with him. When I returntd to the 
foom, Mr. Hoyte was still tahing care of the child ; he 
naked me if I had seen kis ladyt I said no. Upon this 
question he told me that the father of kis kfdf was deai^ 
that her mother yet lived in the suburbs of Ctueb^c, and he 
asked me for all the clothes which I had given to wash for 
him, kit lady and child; clothes the lad^^ had taken from 
the only portmanteaEn which they had. Beyond that, I per- 
ceived nothing remarkable, except that Mr. Hoyte wished 
to conceal this woman, and to prevent her from going out. 
I heard the judge say to him, *now she is yours.* Sworn 
before me the 2d November, 1835. 

(Signed) " W. Robertkmi. , 

'\Mary M'Caffrey, also a chambermaid in the hotel ol 
Mr. Gfoodenough, corroborates the preening deposition. 
(Signed) **W. Robertson.'^ 

(affidavit of henkt m'donald.) 
^Prt^ineB tif Lower iJanada, } 

** Before me, W.^Robertson, oneof His Majesty's Justtea 
of the Peace, for the District ot Montreal, appeared Henxy 
M'Donald, physician, who, after taking an oath on the 
Holy Evangelists to say the truth, didared, that ia tthtf 
month of August last, at seven o'eloidc in the evening, a 

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youag^ iNHBan' called at liis house wltli all the aymptbUMi bt 
an c ltraaf 4 i nary agitation, and in great distress. She asked 
hii pMfesBional ad^rice, Complaining of great pains ta tli^ 
breast. On qnestibning hef , he learned that :she had a yoting 
cMld, Whi^h she said ^ras at Mr. Gk>odenongh's, and that this 
f* cjilki was taken away from her. She said that the fhther 
of thechiW was a Methodist minister, and generaf agent 
of 4he Sunday Schools. She told me his nftme, but I can- 
not recollect it. She told nae that now and then her inte^ 
lectiud faculties wer6 weakened in such a manner that she 
couid not support herself. She told me that she would b^ 
BBder great oWigation to me, if I would ^ to her nttsther^ 
house, and get her child, «^d procure lodgings for he^ ; that 
aiit was without n^ei^s, and did not know where to go. Shk 
could not remain with her mother, because she felt that 
her conduct had disgrhced her famify. Ilrent in qatstbt 
Mrr. Monk, her mother; she had just come in cfuest of h«r 
daughter', and they went away togethet ft'om my house. 

(Signed) " Bsmr WTHmAtb, - 

** Sworn before me the 2d November, 1835. - 

(Signed) " W. RoMlirwKMr.** 

(APFiDAvrr or matth^w wchet.) 
To the Editor of the Montreal Morning Courier. 

Sir, — Among the affidavits putlished in your paper of' 
to-day, relating to Mr. Hoyte and Maria Monk, I observe 

^ a deposition by Mr. Gfoodenough, that when ^r. Hoyte, 
in the month of August last, put up at the Exchange Cofl 
fee-house, hie was entered on the book as a Methodist 
Preacher f atid Agent or BwperiiUendevi of Sunday Schools, 
Ac. It has, however, been ascertained, from an e^caininA^' 
ti<m of the book referred too, that no official designatieb is 
appended in inM Mr. Hoyte's naftie. This^ disctepaincy, ^ 
Mrv Ctoodenough sttttes, tdok |^ce entirely tkrou^ mis^ 

, take, and he did not knowthat.Mr. Ho3rte was thus -ehkf- 
acteriaed in his affidavit till he^aw^it m pfntt> But as k 
similaTmfefeke has found its way into a<svif!»lbf thfe^e-- 

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n%QmrtMi-i^ TMI WORK. 1$06 

pe«j|i0DS 'Which h«ve beea elicited Uy thisimkiipiiy uSkif, 
I deem it inenrafaient upon me, as a, res:oku'ly appwiMi 
Methodist Minister o^ this city, to declajre that Mr, Hojrte 
\ms neiner had any connexion with the Methodist SbcieQp, 
either as a preacher or as an agent for Sanday Schools ; 
md I wovld, at the same time,,ejcpress my surprise and re- 
^et, that the New-York PrOed^ni Vindia^or shoM. have 
taken up, and industriously circulated, charges of so grave 
a nature against the Priests and Kuns of this city, derived 
ftdfh 80 polluted a source. From such a species of vtndi' 
oMoi^^jM cause can receive either honour or credit. By 
giving this publicity, you vili confer a fitvoor en yours; 
f«q^ectfully, " Matiwsw RicdEV, 

*' Montreal, Nov. 1^ 1835. Jfeslepan MniUerJ' 

** Although we could produce several other affidavits, 
of an equally uBimpettehftble character as the above, yet 
we deem the evidence advanced more than' enough to show 
the entire falsehood and extravagance of the fabrications 
ittthe Protestant Vindicator,** 

Here closes all the testimony that has been pul>* 
liihed or l;)roa^t against me. It requires the siip 
pression of my feelings to repeat to the world 
charges against mysdf and my companions, so un- 
founded, and painful to every virtuous rea^. But 
^ I trust to the truth to substimtiate my nariative, and 
l^refer that every thmg should be &irly hud before 
the world. 

That my opponents had nothhig fUrther to pro- 
dttecmgaiastme at that time, is proved by the fol- 
lowing remark by the Editor of the New York 
Catholic Diary, to be found in the very paper in 
which he published the preceding affidavits : — ^ 

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«i6 J ATwrntf^it. 

In a N. Y. Catholic TA^ry of March last, i$ ^ 
letter Grom Father McM^alion, a Missionary, dated 
at Sherbrooke, in Canada, in, which, as will h« aeoa 
by the extracts given beyond, he dees not even #K 
lude to any other teattmoay than this. Of ^outse 
my readers will allow that I have reason to say — 
•• Here, then, is the whole 1" 

The following extracts are given for several tet^ 
sons. 1st. To prove, by the admission of my mk- 
versaries themselves, that no new testimony has beeft 
produced since the publication of the Montreal a!^ 
fidavits. 2d. That no disposition is shown to bring 
the truth to the only fair test-^^tha opeisog of the 
Nunnery. 3d That they are inconsistent in sev^ 
era! respects, tis, while they pretend to leave the 
characters of the priests and nuns to defend them* 
selves, they labour with great zeal and acrimony to 
quiet pttbtic suspicion, and to discredit my testimo- 
ny. 4th. Another object in giving ^se extracts is, 
to show a specimen of ^e style of mostnof thfe Ro- 
roim Catholic writers against me. In respect to 
argument, temper, wad scarcity bf fects. Father 
McMahon is on a level with the editors of the 
Diary aind Green Banner, judging frdm such of 
their papers as I have seen. 

From Father McMahw'9 fjttUr to the Editor ^theM Y. < 
Diary of March^ 1836. 
" The silence by which you indulge the latent flings oC 
a mal-propense, so far from being an argument for culpa- 
bility, is based upon the chantableness of a conscious inno- 
c«nee, and », theve^bra, highly eomaieftdiible. I say it it 

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k^^ commendable, inasmuoh as these worthy and ti&^ 
spectatije characters do not deign to answer falsehood, or 
t^m their attention from their sacred avocations by effect- 
naJly repelling allegations which all the men, women» and 
children, able to articulate a syllablCj in the. city of Mon- 
treal, hare repeatedly pronounced to be utterly false, detest- 
ably foul, anrf abominably scandalous. ♦ • ♦ ♦ 

" May i now call upon you, honest Americans, who, 
though you may differ from me in doctrinal points of reli^ 
gion, have, I trust, the due regard for truth and charity to- 
wards all mankind ; and into whose hands that instrument^ 
of Satan^s emissaries may fall, before you believe one syl- 
lable it contains, attentively to peruse the following /wis, 
which are known to all men of learning, of every persua- 
lion, and in every country, and which you will find^ by ma- . 
tnre investigation, to serve as a sufficient key to discover 
the wicked falsehoods, circulated by the enemies of truth, 
in the work called, ' The Disclosures of Maria Monk,' 
bnt which, in consequence of the total absence of truth 
from the things therein contained^ I have termed, (and I 
think justly oh that account,) the devil's prayer-book. A 
beseech you to give my statements a fair, but impartial 
trial, weigh correctly the arguments opposed to them, ac- 
cording to your judgment — do not allow yourselves to be 
gulled by the empty or unmeaning phraseology of some of 
your bloated, though temperate, preachers. All I ask for 
the test of the following statement, is simply and solely the 
exercise of your commcm sense, without equivocation. 

" 1st. I 4istinctly and unequivocally state, that the im- 
pugners of the Catholic religion and its doctrines, never 
dared to meet us in the fair field of argument. Never yet 
have they entered the lists in an eristical encounter, but to 
their cost. Why sol because we have reason, religion, 
and the impenetrable shield of true syllogistic argumenta- 
tion in our favoar. Witness, in support of the assertion, 
the stupid and besotted crew, (pardon mc for this expres- 
sion, and find a proper term yourselves, for thei>olitico- 

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Tfteoloficml Cltarlatsos of Ettglaiid«) who, not daring to 
esooQiiter the Catholic Hierarchy of Ireland, in an hon-* 
ourable rdigidos disfmtation, are forced to drs^ to their 
assistance those very apostates from Catholicity who were 
considered by their superiors unworthy of the situati<A 
they attempted to hold in that Church ; ibr the purpose of 
propping ap the staggering and debauched harlot, whose 
grare they are now preparing. Only remark bow they arc 
obliged to hare recourse to the exploded scholastic opin- 
ions of Peter Dens, by way of showing the intolerance of 
the Catholics, who repudiate the doctrine of religious in- 
tolerance. Maryland, Bavaria, and the Cantons of Swit^ 
xerfand, prove the contrary by their universal religious 
toleration. Now I could mention, if I thought I had space 
enough on this sheet, numbers of Protestant divines, who, 
in their writings, have strongly inculcated the absurd doc- 
trines of ruling our consciences by the authority of the 
Civil Magistrates. See then, how strange it is, that they 
seek to condemn us for doctrines which we abhor, aJid 
which they practise, even to this day. Mark that for an 
argument against our doctrines. 

**2dly. I assert, that notwithstanding ail the persecu- 
tions, all the falsehood and defamation daily exercised 
against the Catholics and their religion, they are at this mo- 
ment the only people on the face of the earth who main- . 
tain amongst them the unity of the true faith, and the reg- 
ular succession in the Ministry, from Christ and his Apos- 

"3dly. I assert, that the late scandalous production 
against the CaUxolic Clergy of Montreal and the CathoHc 
institutions there, is a tissue of false, foul, desigDing, and 
scandalous misrepresentation. 1st. Because upon strict 
examination into all its bearings, it has been so proved 
upon the solemn oaths at a magistrate and others concern- 
ed. Sdly. Because it is no way consonant to reason or 
common, sense to say, that those living at a considerabla 
distance, and avowedly hostile to the Catholics' and their 

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religi(m, sbotdd fe«l so interesled in such a matter as the 
Catholics themseWes, who are vitally concerned, and who- 
had every facility of discovering any impropriety j who 
are zeakms of the purity of their religion and its Mini»* 
ters. Sdly. Becanse the load cry of all the inhahitsnts of 
every denomination, from the weU-known integrity, the ex- 
traordinary piety, the singular charity and devotedness of 
the Catholic Clergy, came in peals of just wrath and well- 
merited indignation on the heads of the degenerate mon- 
sters who basely, but ineffectually, attempted to murder 
the unsuUied fame of those whom they deservedly held» 
mmI will hold, in the highest estimation. 

" T. B. McMahon, IdtssionaryJ* 

Now this letter alludes to testimony legally giveii^ 
as substantiating the charges against me. What 
testimcmy is int^ded 1 Any new testimony ? If 
so, where, and what is it ? I have never heard of 
any, of any description, except what I have insert- 
ed on the preceding pages, unless I except the vio- 
lent, unsupported, and inconsistent assertions in 
newspapers, before alluded to. Has any testimony, 
legally given, be^i produced, which neither the 
Catholic Diary, nor any other Catholic pi^r, has 
either inserted or alluded to ? No. The Mission- 
ary, McMahon, must xekx to the Montreal affidavits ; 
and since he has expressed his opinion in relation 
to Uieir credibility and weight, I request my read- 
ers to form their own opinions, as I have put the 
means in their power. 

It may, perhaps, appear to some, an act display- 
ing uncommon " concern!^ in my affairs, or those of 
the Convent, for Father McMahon to take the pains 

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to write on the subject from Canada. I Icnow more 
of him and his concerns than the public doj and I 
am glad that my book has reached him. Happy 
would it have been for him, if hs coiild prove that 
he did not leave Sherbrooke from the day when I 
took the Black veil, until the day when I cast it 
off There are many able to bear witness against 
him in that institution, ( if ^ they have not been re- 
moved,) and one out of it^ who ooukl easily silence 
him, by disclostires that he has too much realsoft to 

But to return — I assure my readers, then, that 
this book contains all the testimony that has been 
brought against me, so far as I can ascertain. 

The extensive publication of the Montreal affi- 
davits, (for they appeared in the Roman Catholic 
papers, and ' were circulated, it is believed, very 
generally thibugh New York,) for a tim^, ahiiost 
entirely closed the newspapers against me. My 
publishers addressed the following letter to the edi- 
tor of the N. Y. Catholic Di^ry, ' and waited' on 
him with a third person, to request its publication 
in his next paper, but he declined. He expressed 
doubts of my being in the city, and intimated a wish 
to see me ; but when they acceded, he refused to 
meet me anywhere but at his own residence ! 

Tfie same letter was then offered to other ed- 
itors in New York, and even sent to Philadelphia 
for publication, but refused. It appeared dn the 
29th of February, in the BTookl3m Star, thus in- 

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" Since the publication of our last paper, we have receiv- 
ed a commiinicatioaXrom Messrs. Howe and Bates, of New 
Yoarjr, tlto publishers of Miss Monk's ' Awful Disclosures.* 
It appears that some influences have been at work in that 
city, adverse to the. free examination of the case between 
ker and the priests of Canada; for thus far the newspapers 
have been almost entirely closed against everything in her 
defend, while most of them have, published false charges 
against tl^e book, some of a preposterous nature^ the con- 
tradiction of which is plain and palpable. ♦ * ♦ 

" Ketuming to New York, she then first resolved to pub- 
lish her story^ whick she Las recently done, after several 
intelligent and disinterested persons had satisfied them- 
selves by much examination theit it was true. 

"When it became known in Canada that this was her 
intention, six affidavits were published in some of the news- 
papei^ intended to destroy confidence in her character \ 
but these were found very contradictory in several im- 
portant points, and in others to afibrd undesigned confirm- 
ation of statements before made by her. 

'* On the publication of her book, the New York Catholic 
Diary, the Truth Teller, the Green Banner, and other pa- 
pers, made virulent attacks upon it, and one of them pro- 
"pgseA that the publishers should be ' Lynched.* An anony- 
mous handbill was also circulated in New York, declaring 
the work a malignant libel, got up by Protestant clergymen, 
and promising an ample refutation of it in a few days, 
"fhis was re-published in the Catholic Diary, &c. with the 
oW Montreal affidavits, which latter were also distributed 
tlvrough New York and Brooklyn ; and on the authority of 
these, several Protestant newspapers denounced the work 
as false and malicious. 

^ " i^other charge, quite inconsistent with the rest, was 
a);sQ made, nqt only by the leading Roman Catholic papers, 
bat by several others at second hand — viz. that it was a 
»if9 copy txf an old Earopeui work. This has bera pronix- 

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282 ArYBMMX. 

ly deaM by (he pablis&ers, widi the Cftkr of iM re#afd 
for any book at all reftembUng it 

** Yet, such is the resolution ctf some, and the unbelief of 
others, that it is impossible for the publishers to obtain iA- 
tertion for their replies in the New York papers general^, 
and they have been unsuccessful in an attempt in Philad^ 

** This is the ground on which the following article has 
been offered to us, for publication in the Star. It was of- 
fered to Mr. Schnelier, a Roman priest, and editor of the 
Catholic Diary, for insertion in his paper of Saturday be- 
4pre last, but refused, although written ezprestdiy as an an- 
swer to the afidavits and charges his prerious number had 
contained. This article has also been refused insertion m 
a Philadelphia daily paper, after it had been satisfactorily 
ascertained that there was no hope of gaining admissicm 
lor it into any of the New York papers. 

" It should be stated, in addition, that the authoress of 
the book, Maria. Monk, is in New York, and stands ready 
to answer any questions, and submit to any inquiries, put 
in a prc^r manner, and desires nothing so strongly as an 
opportunity to prove before a court the truth of her story. 
She has already found several persons of respectability who 
have confirmed some of the facts, important and likely to 
be attested by concurrent evidoiee ; and much further tes- 
timony in her favour may be soon expected by the public. 

*' With these facts before them, intelligent readers win 
judge for themsdves. She asks for investigation, while her 
opponents deny her every opportunity to meet the charges 
made against her. Mr. Schnelier, after expressing a wia& 
to see her, to the publishers, refused to meet her anywhere, 
minkss in his own house; while Mr. Gluarter, another Ro- 
man CathoUe priest, called to see her, at ten o'clock, one 
night, accompanied by another man, without giving their 
names, and under the false pretence of being bearers of it 
letter from her brother in Afpntreal.'' 

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nibDsitTiQN qv ^^^E wqkk. MS 

' (fi'^ ^ ^ Mmtreeil Affidavits, refus^ puldicaiion by the 
Catholic Diary J <^.) ^ 

" To the Editor of the CathoUc Diary. 

" Sir — In your paper of last Saturday, yoa published six 
affidavits from Montreal, which are calculated, so far as 
they are believed, to discredit the truth of the ' Awful Dis- 
closures' of Maria Monk, a book of which we are the. pub- 
lishers. We address the following remarks to you, with a 
fec^uest that you will publish them in the ' Catholic Diary,' 
I'.at your readers may have the means of judging for them- 
selves. If the case be so plain a one as you seem to sup- 
pose, they will doubtless perceive more plainly the bearing 
and force of the evidence you present, when they see i( 
brought into collision with that which it is designed to over- 
throw. > 

" First, We have to remark, that the affidavits which you 
ptiblish might have been furnished you in this city, without 
the trouble or delay of sending to Montreal. They have 
Seen here two or three months, and w^re carefully exam- 
ined about that period by persons who were acquainted with 
Maria Monk's story, and were desirous of ascertaining the 
truth. After obtaining further evidence from Canada, 
these affidavits were decided to contain strong confirmation 
of various points in her story^then already written down, 
only part of which has yet been published. 

*' Second, It \s remarkable that of these six affidavits, the 
first is that of Dr. Robertson, and all the rest are signed by 
him as Justice of 'the Peace; anct a Justice, too, who had 
previously refused to take the affidavit of Maria Monk. 
Yet, unknown to himself, this same Dr. R., by incidents of 
his own stating, corroborates some very important parts of 
Miss Monk's statements. He says, indeed, that he has as- 
certained where she was a part of the time when she pro- 
fesses to have been in the Nunnery. Bat his eviderice on 
this point is merely hearsay , and he does not even favour 
us with that. 

** Third, Ow of thte affiaavits is tliat cff Mite Mtek»B 

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mother, who clfums to be a Protestant, aad yet dedaresi 
ihat^e pn^>09ed to send her infant g^randchild to a Nun- 
nery I She says her daughter has long he&a. subject to fits 
of insani^, (of which, however, we can say, no traces are 
discoverable in New York,) and has never been in a Nun- 
nefy since she was at school in one, while quite a child. 
She however does not mention where her daughter hai 
spent any part of the most important years of her life. A 
large part of her affidavit, as well as several others, is taken 
up with matter relating to one of the persons who accom- 
panied Miss M. to Montreal last summer, and has no claim 
to be regarded as direct evidence' for or against the authen- 
ticity of her book. 

*' Fourth, The affidavit of Nancy McGan is signed with 
a cross, as by one ignorant of writing ; and she states that 
she visited a hotise of ill fkme, (to all appearance alone,) 
although, as she asserts, to bring away Miss M. Her tes- 
timony, therefore, does not present the strongest claims to 
our confidence. Besides, it is known that she has shown 
great hostility to Miss Monk, in the streets of Montreal : and 
she would not, it is believed, have had much influence on 
an intelligent court or jury, against Miss M., in that city, 
if the latter had been fortunate enough to obtain the legal 
investigation into her charges, which, as Dr. E. mentions, 
she declared to be the expresis object of her visit to that 
city, in the last summer, and in which she failed, after 
nearly a mouth's exertion. 

" Fifth, The affidavit of Mr. Gk)odenough is contradicted 
in one point by the letter of Mr. Richey, a Wesleyan min- 
ister, which you insert, and ccmtains little else of any im- 
portance to this or any other case. ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ 

"Sixth, You copied in a conspicuous manner, from a 
Catholic paper in Boston, a charge against the book, the 
iproundlessness of which has been exposed in somo of the 
New York papers, viz. that large parts of it were, * word 
for word and letter for letter,' (names only altered,) copied 
from a book published some years ago in Europe, under the 

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KfocrrtoN totftm worm. - 239^ 

fitle at * Thfe Oates of Hell opened.' We have not seen itt. 
your paper any correction (^ this a$persion, althoogk the 
assertion of it has placed you in a dilemma ; for, if suck 
were the fact, as yoa asserted, the Montreal affidarits woolft 
have little application to the case. Besides, that book, 
having proceeded from Catholics, and relating, as was in-^ 
timated, to scenes in European Convents, divnli^ed by wit- 
nesses not chargeable with prejudices against them, is to be 
taken for true with other names; and therefore the charge 
of extravagance or improbability, which is so much urged 
against our book, is entirely iiullified, without appealing to 
other sources of information, which cannot be objected to*. 

"But before closing, allow us to remark, that you, who 
claim so strongly the confidence of your readers in the tes- ^ 
timony of witnesses in Montreal, who speak only of things 
collateral to the main sulject in question, must be prepared 
to lay extraordinary weight on evidence of a higher nature, 
and must realize something of the anxiety with which we», 
and the American public generally, we believe, stand ready 
to receive the evidence to be displayed to the eye and to the^ 
touch, either for or against the solemn declarations of Miss 
Monk, whenever the great test shall be applied to which 
she appeab, viz. the opening of the Hotel Dieu Nunnery^ 
nt Montreal. Then, sir^ and not till then, will the great 
question be settled, — Is otir book true or false 1 Affidavits 
may possibly be multiplied, although you say, *Here, then^ 
is the whole !' Dr. Robertson may be again called to te^tify^. 
of receive testimony as Justice (^the Peace,— but the ques-^ 
tion is not, what do pe(^le believe or think otdside of the* 
ConvefU ? but, ' what has been done in it?* 

** By the issue of this investigation, Miss Monk declares, 
she is ready to stand or fall. 

" You speak„ sir, of the * backwardness* of persons to ap- 
pear in defence of Miss Monk's book. We promise to ap- 
pear as often on the subject as you are wiping to publish 
pur communications. In one of the paragraphs you publish,, 
our book is spoken of as one of the evils arising from a 

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^Jru press.* We tWnk, sir, th%t ' a free press' is ccp^ted ^m 
less condemnation through the ' Awful Disclosures/ than 
the 'close Nunneries ' which it is designed to expose. 
" Respectfully, &c. 
"New York, Feb. 22d, 1836." 

The above was afterward copied m other papemi 
The following certificate appeared in the F^otestant 
Vindicator, and other papers, in March, 1836, in- 
troducing the two first witnesses. 

" The inUh of Ma.Txa MonVs * Awful Disclosures* amply 

*' We the subscribers, having an acquaintance with Miss 
Maria Monk, and having considered the evidence of dif- 
ferent kinds which has been collected in relation to her 
case, have no hesitation in declaring our belief in the truth 
of the statements she makes in her book recently published 
in New York, entitled * Awful Disclosures,' &c. 

" We at the same time declare that the assertion, origi- 
nally made in the Roman Catholic newspapers of Boston, 
that the book was copied from a work entitled ' The Gates 
of Hell opened,* is wholly destitute of foundation ; it being 
entirely new, and not copied from any thing whatsoever. 

" And we further declare, that no evideiue has yet been 
produced ickich discredits the sfMements of Miss Monk: 
while, on the contrary, her story has received, and continues 
to receive, confirmation from variants sources. 

" During the last week, two important witnesses sponta- 
neously appeared, and offered to give public testimony ia 
her favour. From them the following declarations haire 
been received. The first is aa affidavit given by Mr. Wil- 
liam Miller, now a resident of this city. The second is a 
statement received from a young married woman, who, 
with her husband, also resides here. In the clear and re- 
peated statements made by these two witnesses, we p4aWi 

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KB^BFTHnr mr the wokk. 2S)^^ 

eature «eliaaGe; #1m> are Veftdy to fiihiki& satlsfiBU^ticm to 
aair pefsoBs making reasoftable inquiries on the sidiject. 

•* W. C. Brownlei. 

" John J. Slocum. 

*' Andrew Bruce. 

**D. Fansbaw. 

^ Amos Belden. 

** David Wesson. 


"William Milkr b^Dg doly sworn, doth say,-~I knew 
Maria Monk when she was qoite a cb^, and was acquaint* 
ed with an her father's ftmily. My father, Mr. Adam 
Miller, kqyt the goremment sebool at St, John's, Lower 
CaJiij^da!, iQi some years. Captain Wm. Monk, Mia.ria^ 
father, Jived in the garrison, a short distance from the v^ 
}Bg9^ Md 9he Jitt^nded thfi school with me for some months^ , 
probably as much as a year. Her four brothers also at- 
tended with us. Our families were on terms of intimacy, 
as my fother had a high regard for Captain MoiUe; but the 
temper of his wife was sach> even at that time, as to causa 
aRieh trouble* Capt. Monk died very suddenly, as was re- 
pealed, in consequence of being poisoned. Mrs. Monk was 
th^n keeper of the Government House in Montreal, $3^d 
received a peifiion, which privilege she has since enjoyed^ 
hk the summer of 1833, I left Canada, and came to this 
city. Jn a|>0Qt a year afterward I visited Montreal, andr 
oor the day when the 6}avemor reviewed the trqops, I be-^ 
lieve about the end of August, I called at the Governments 
Housed where I saw Mrs* Monk and several of the family., 
I inquired where Maria was, and she told me that she was 
ktthe ni»m?M8]7. This fact I well remember, because the 
information gave me great pain, as I had unfavourable 
opinions oi the nnnneries. On reading the * Awful Dis- 
^osi»«6,' I at oace knei^ she was the eloped nun, but was 
naable to find her until a few days since, when we recog^ 

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Bised 9Rch otl)^ immediately. 1 gire with pleasi^e my 
testimony in her favour, as she is among strangers^ ani, 
exertions have beei^ made against her. 1 declare my per- 
sonal knowledge of many facts stated in her book, and my 
full belief in the trufh of her story, which, shocking as it 
is, cannot appear incredible to those persons acquainted 
with Canada. " William Miller. 

" Sworn before me, this 3d day of March, 1836. 
"Benjamin D. K. Craig, 
" Commissioner of Deeds, Ac." 

I'Vom the Protestant Vindicatot qf March 9. 
*' The following statement ha» been famished by the ISb- 
male w^ness «bove-meationed *, the name being r<8erfed> 
only from delicacy to a lady's feeliags.'* 


"I was born at Montreal, and resided thete until withia 
a few months; and where my friends still remain. I was 
educated among theCathohes, and have^tteversepttmted* 
myselffVom them. " 

'* I knew Maria Monk when quite a child. We went to 
sctiool together for abbut a year, as near as I ean remem- * 
ber, to Mr. Workman, Sacrament-sftreet, in Montreal. She 
is about one month younger than myself. We left that - 
school at the same time, and entered the Congregational 
Nunnery nearly together. I cofuld mention many thing*' 
which I wimessed there, calculated to confirm some of her 
accounts. - . - 

" I. knew of the elopement of a priest named Declere, 
who was a confessor, with a nun seUt from the Congr«ga- 
tidnal Nunneryto teach in a village. They were brought 
back, after which she gave birth to an infimt, and waa 
again employed as a teachef. 

" Children ivere often puniihed in tlie Congregational' 
Nunnery, by being made tb stand with arms extended, t6 
imitate Christ's posture on Ihe cross ; and when we fouiwl 
vermin in our soup, as was oftea the caw, w* war* ax- 

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JUccBrrioN o't^he work. " i99 

horted to overcome onr rcjJngnaaee to it, t««atise t:mrist 
died for tis. I have seen such belts as are mentioned in the 
* Awful Disclosures/ as well as gags ; but nerer saw them 

** Maria Monk left the Coiigregational Nunnery before I 
did, and became a novice in the Hotel Dieu. I remember 
her entrance into the latter very well, for we had a *jour 
de conge,^ holiday, on that occasion. 

" Some short time subsequently, after schbol hours one 
afternoon, while in the school-room in the second story ol 
the Congregational Nunnery, several ofnhe girls standing 
near a window exclaimed, * There is Maria Monk.' I 
sprang to the window to look, and saw her wiih seVeral 
other novices, in the yard of the Hotel Dieu, among* the 
plants which grew there. She did not appear tO' notice us> 
but I perfectly recognised her. ' , ' 

" I have frequently visited the publie»bospital Of the Ho- 
tel Dieu. It is the custom there for isolne of the nuns and 
novices to enter at three o'clock, P. M., in procession irith 
food and delicacies for the sick. I recollect some of my 
visits there by circumstances attending them. For in- 
stance, I was much struck, on several occasions, by the 
beauty of a young novice, whose slender, graceful form, 
and interesting appearance, distinguished her from the 
rest. On inquiry, I learnt that her name was Dubois, or 
something like it, and the daughter of an old man who ha.d 
removed from the country, and lived near the Place 
d'Apmes. She was so generally admired for her beauty, 
that she was called * la belle St. Francois'— St; Francis be- 
ing the saint's name she had assumed in the convent. 

"Ifreqiiently went to the hospital to see two of my par- 
ticular friends who were novices : and subsequently to visit 
one who had a sore throat, and was sick for some weeks. I 
saw Maria Monk there many times, in the dress of a ncv- 
ice, employed in different ways ; but we were nevet allow- 
ed to speak to each other. 

•* TbWartf^thte clb^te Of the wimi?r of l^^S^, I visited the 

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1U0 AftanMt 

iMmitel of tlM Hot^ Dka very frei^uently, to see Mias 
BoUrket a friend of mine, although I was not permitted to 
apeak with her. While there one day, at the honr ot' 
^amgif or ' coUatum^^ which, as I before stated, was at three 
V. M., a procession of nans and novices entered, and 
«mon^ the former I saw Maria Monk, with a black reil, 
dec. She perceived and recognised me ; but pat her finger 
apon her lips in token of silence; and knowing how rigidly 
the rales were enforced, I did not speak. 

" A short time afterward, I saw her again in the same 
place, and under similar circumstances. 

" I ^an fix the year when this occurred, because I recol- 
lect that the nuns in the hospital stared at a red dress I 
wore that season ; and I am certain about the time of year, 
t>ecaase I left my galo-shoes at the door before I went in. 

** The in^roper conduct of a priest was the cause of my 
leaving the Congregational Nunnery : for my brother saw 
liun kissing a female one day while he was on a visit to 
me, and exclaimed — ^ O num Dieu ! what a place you are 
in !~*If father does not take you o^t of it, I will, if I have 
to tear you away.* 

*' After the last mght I had of Maria Monk in the hospi- 
tal, I never saw nor heard of her, until after I had been for 
«ome time an inhabitant of New York. I then saw an. ex- 
traiet from * Awful Disclosures,* publi^ed in a newspaper, 
when I was perfectly satisfied that she was the authoress, 
and again at liberty. I was unable for several weeks to 
^d her residence, but at length visited the house when she 
was absent Seeing an infant among a number of persons 
who were strangers to me, as those present will testify, I de- 
clared that it must be the child mentioned in her book, from 
the striking resemblance it bears to Father Phelan, whom I 
well know. This declaration has also been made by others. 

"When Maria Monk entered she passed across the 
room, without turning towards me; but I recognised her 
^y her gait, and when she saw me she knew me at once. 
t have since spent many hours with her, and am entirely 

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i^vi^ced of the trmli of Imr sioiy^ otii^ciaUy a« I ko^w 
inany things before which^ tend to coAfirm the statementy 
whioh she ms^es.'' 

[" It is superfluoiis to add any thing to t|ie above testimo* 
9j. het the Roman priests of Montreal open the Hotei 
Dieu Nunnery for our infection, and thu^ confute Maria 
l^onk : or, Mr. Conroy is ag^n chiJlenged to institute a 
criminal process against her, or ^ civil suit against th« 
(Qiiblishers of her volume. — They dare not place ihei eloped 
Qttn or her booksellers in that * Inquisition ;' because th^ 
know that it^would only pe 'putting themselves to the t<a* 
ture V"^Sd, ProU Vind.} 

[From the Protestant VindiccUor qf March 16th.] 
" We recommend the following communication to all 
persons who doubt the wickedness of Nunneries. The 
young gentleman who sent us the letter is now in this city, 
and we have heard the same statements from other wit- 
nesses. T?hat subterraneous passage from the Seminary to 
the Nunneries, we ourselves have seen, and close by the 
spot designated by our correspondent : — ^ 
(statement op j. m.) 
" Underground passage from the Jesuit Seminary to the 

Hotel Dieu Nunnery^ Montreal, 
" I have been informed that jou are endeavouring to 
obtain facts and other incidental circumstances, relative to 
the Blacj^ Nunnery in Montreal, ainl t(^ disclosures con- 
cerning it, made by Maria Monk, in which are many hard 
things, but hard as they are, they are not indigestible by U9 
Can^ians ; we believe that she has told but a small part of 
what she must know, if she was but half the time there 
which she says she was. Maria Monk has mentioned in 
lier book something about the underground passage which 
leads fi-om the Black Nttanery to other places in Montreal. 
~ Tbat laict I know by ocular demonstration, and whick 
aine tenths of the Canadians also will not deny, for it has 
been opened sevei^al times by the labourers, who have 

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hMB diggifigrfor the porpose of laying pipes to coadttct gtA 
and water. While preparing a place for the latter I sav 
one of those passages; the earth being removed by fhe !»- 
bonrers, they struck upon the top of the passage^ and curi- 
osity led them to see what was beneath, for it sounded «s 
though there was a ht^low. They accordingly remoWd 
the large flat stones which formed the top of the passage. 
Many persons were loolcing on at the time, and sereral of 
them went down into it ; when they returned after a f^ 
Bdnutes, they stated thst they went but a short distance, be- 
fbre they came to an intersection of passajEfes, and were 
afraid to proceed further. Shortly after, scTeral priests 
were on the spot, and prev^ted the people from further 
examining it; and had the place shut up immediately, 
while they stood by and yarded it until it was all done. 
The appearance of that part of the passage was the same 
as I saw while they were laying the water pipes. The floor 
of it in botl% parts where I saw it was clean to ^pearance, 
with the exception of a little dirt that fell in on opening 
them, and of stone flagging., I have heard much about 
these undergrotmd passages in Montreal, in which pjace I 
have spent the most of my dajrs. I give you my name %nd 
residence: an^ if you should be called upon ftam any 
quarter for the truth o^ this statement, I am ready to Hottest 
it upon oath ; and there are others in this city who have 
witnessed the same things. The places where those open- 
ings were made in the underground passages were in St 
Joseph street for the water pipes; and for the gas pipes in 
Notre-Dame street, near Sacrament street, at a short dis- 
tance from the Seminary. W. M.*^ 

About the close .of February last, a note was sent 
me from, a person signing bimself the man who 
took me to the Almshouse. Soon afler I had an 
interview with Mr. Hilliker, whom I recognised as 
my first protector in New- York, and to whom I 

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^we much — ii^de«id, as I UuDik, n^ life. He kindly 
Q&red to give me his testimony, wiiich follows :— 

IVom the Uno York Journal of Qnnmeree. 

(affidavit of JOHN HILLIKKR.) 

*" Oi^ i$nd County qf i 
New Yorkf w. S 

'"John Hilliker, being duly sworn, doth depose and say — 
that one day early in the month of May, 18^, while shoot> 
ing near the Third AVenu^, opposite the three mile stone, 
in company with three friends, I saw a woman sitting in a 
flMd at a short distance, who attracted onr attention. On 
lieaching her, we foand her sitting with her head down, 
and could not make lier return any answer to our questions. 
On raising her hat, we saw that she was weeping. She 
iras dressed in an old calico frock, (I think of a gr^nish 
colour,) with a checked apron, and an old black bonnet. 
After much delay and weeping, she began to answer my 
questions, but not until I had got my companions to leave 
lis, and assured her that I was a married man, and dis- 
posed, to befriend her. 

*^ She then told me that her name was Maria, that she had 
been a nun in a nunnery in Montreal, from which she had 
made her e6Ciq>e, on account of the treatment she had re- 
ceived from priests in that institution, whose licentious 
conduct she strongly intimated to me. She mentioned 
some particulars concerning the Convent and her escape. 
She spoke particularly of a small room where she used to 
attend, until the physician entered to see the sick, when 
she accompanied him to write down his prescriptions ; and 
said that she escaped through a door which he sometimes 
entered. She added, that she exchanged her dress after 
leaving the nunnery, and that she came to New York in 
company with a man, who left her as soon as the steam> 
boat arrived. She further stated, that she expected soon to 
give birth to a child, having become pregnant in the Con- 
vent j that she had np friend, and knew, not wh^^^ *'^ *•"* 

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244 ' * .'APFXNDtZ, 

oa^; that she thought of destroying her life; and widied 
me to leare her-«scyiii|^, that if I should hear of a vmmam 
being found drowned in the East River, she earnestly de- 
sired me never to speak of her. 

" I asked if she had had any food that day, to which she 
answered, no ; and I gave her money to get some at the 
grocery of Mr. Cox, in the neighbourhood. She left n^e, 
but I afterward saw her in the fields, going towards the ri- 
ver J and after much urgency, prevaile 
a house where I thought she might be a< 
ing to pay her expenses. Failing in 
snaded her, with much difficulty, to go 
and there we got her received, after 1 1 
to see her, as she said she had someth 
quence. which she wished to commr 
wished me to write a letter to Montreal. 

*' She bad every appearance of telling the truth ; so much 
so, that I have never for a moment doubted the truth of her 
story, but told it to many persons of my acquaintance, with 
entire confidence in its truth. She seemed overwhelmed 
with grief, and in a very desperate state of mind. I .saw ' 
her weep for two hours or more without ceasing ; and ap- 
peared very feeble when attempting to walk, so that two 
of us supported her by the arms. We observed also, that ' 
she always folded her hands under her apron when she 
walked, as ' she has described the nuns as doing In her 
* Awful l)isclosures.* 

"I called at the Almshouse gate several times and in- 
quired for her ; but having forgotten half of her name, I 
could not make it understood whom I wished to see, and 
did not see her until the last week. When I saw some of 
the first extracts from her book in a newspaper, I was con- 
fident that they were parts of her story, and When I read 
the conclusion of the work, I had hot a doubt of it. In- 
deed, many things in the <;ourse of the book I was pre- 
pared for ftrom what she had told me. 

''When I saw her, t recognised her immediately, al- 

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tikodgk s^ did not kpew me at first, being in « very differ- 
ent dress. As soon as she was informed where «he had 
seen me, she recognised .me. I have not found in the book 
any thing inconsistent with what she,had stated to me when 
I J&rst saw her. , 

" When I first found ker in May, 1835, she had evidently 
sought concealment. She had a letter in her hand^ which 
tke refused to let me see ; and when she foond I was de« 
termined to remove her, she tore it in small pieces, and 
threw them down. Several days after I visited the spot again 
and picked them up, to learn something of the contents, 
bfit Gooid find nothing inteiligiUe^ except the first part of 
the signature, 'Maria.' 

" Of the truth c^ her story^ I have not the slightest 
doubt, and I think^l never can until the nunnery is c^pened. 
and examined, "John Hillikbe. 

" Sworn before me, this I4th of March, 1835. 

** PeT£E JjBNKINa, 

1 *' Commissioner of Deeds.^ 

The following ekalleiige f»i« j^iiblished in the N- 
Y. Protestant Vindicator for six or sev^n week», in 
MB3reh and April, without a reply. 

'* Challenge. — The Roman Prelate cmd Priests ef Mon- 
treal—Messrs. Gonroy, Ctuarter, and SehneUer, of .New 
York — ISfessrs. Fenwick aad Byrne of Boston—Mr. 
Hughes of Philadelphia— the Arch-Prelate of Baltimore^ 
and his subordinate Priests— and Cardinal England of 
Charleston, with all other Roman Priests, and every Nun, 
from Baffin's bay to the gulf of Mexico, ure hereby chal* 
lenged to meet an investigation of the truth of] l^aria 
Monk's * Awful Disclosures,' before an impartial assem^ 
bly, over which shall preside seven gentlemen ; three to be , 
selected by the Roman Priests, thiee by the Executive 
Cqnunittee of the New York Protestant Association, and 
tha seventh as Chairman, to bechosen by tbasiju 

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" An eliglMelpktee in New Tork shall be appointed, ftnd 
tbe regnlatioAs foi* the decomm and order of the meetings, 
irith all the other arrangements, shaU be made by the above 

" j:^ All communicaticms apon this subject firom any ol 
the Roman Priests or Nuns, either individually, or as del- 
egates for their superiors, addressed to the Correspondvnjg 
Stcretary of «/U New York Proteskmt AtsdcitUwn, No. 1^ 
Nassau-street, New York; will be promptly answered." 

iPrvm the N. 7. Pr^twtant VinHcaiar ^ AprU 6, ttS6.) 
"The Challeiwe.— We have been waiting with nd. 
small degree of impatience to hear from some of the Ro- 
man ^ests. But neither they, nor their sisters, the nuns, 
nor one of their nephews or meces^ have yet ventured to 
come »nr. Our longings meet only with disappointment. 
Did ever any person hear of similar conduct on the part 
of men accused of the highest crimes, in their deepest 
dyel Here is antrmber of Roman priests, as actors, or 
accessories, openly denounced before the world as guilty 
of- the most outrageous ste ^^aiafit the sixth and seventh 
coniBiandniento. They arecharged before the world with- 
adultery, fornication, iind murder 4 Tl^ allegations are 
distinctly made, the place is mentioned, the parties are 
named, and the time isr designated; for it is lasting as the 
annual revolutions of the seasons. And what is most ex-, 
tracntlinary, — the highest ojjiciai miSioriHes in Canada Jtnow 
ihid all those skUementt are true; arsd they $an(Mon and con- 
nive al ths iniquity /—The priests and nuns have been ' 
ofli^red, for several months past, the most easy and certain 
mode to disprove the felonies imputed to them, and they 
ar'e still as the dungeons of the Inquisition, silent as the 
death-like quietude ^t the convent cell ; and as retired as 
if they were in the subterraneous passages between the 
nunnery and Lartiquefs habitation. Now, we contend, 
that scarcely a Mmilir instance tsi disregard for the opin- 
iom of mankind, cim %« fouifd ainet the Reformatioiif, at 

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leaat, in a Protestant coiHitry. Whatever disregard for the 
judgment of others, the Romish priests may have felt, 
where the Inquisition was at their eommand, and the dvHr 
power was their Jackal .sudd their Hyena : they have been 
obliged to pay some lilfrle regard to the opinion of protes- 
tants, and to the dread of exposure. We therefore repeat 
the solemn indubitable truth — that the facts whick are sta-^ 
ted by Maria Monk^ respecting the Hotel Dieu Nwnnery at- 
Montreal^ are true as the existence of the priests and nwis,-^ 
that the character ^ principles^ and practices of the Jesuits and^ 
nuns in Canada, are most a/xuraJtdy delineated — thai popish 
priests, and sisters of charity in the United States, are their 
faiXhful ajid exact counterparts — that many female schools in 
the United States, kept by the papist teasers, qre nothing 
more than places cf decoy through which young toomen, at the 
mod delicate age, are ensnared into the power of the Roman 
priests— and that the toleration of the monastic system in the 
United States and Britain, the only two countries in the 
world, in which that urtnatural abomination is now extending 
its withering influence, is high treason against God and 
mankind. If American citizens and British Christians, 
after the appalling developments which have been made^ 
permit the continuance of that prodigious wickedness 
which is inseparable from nunneries and the celibacy of 
popish priestS), they will ere long experience that divine 
castigation which is justly due to transgressors, who wil- 
fully trample apon all the appointments of God, and who 
subvert the foundation of national concord, and extinguish 
the comforts of domestic society. Listen to the challenge 
again ! AU the papers with which the Protestant Vindicator 
exchanges, are requested to give the ^Uenge one or two ifh 
teHionsJ* (Here it was repeated.) 

{7^etUmim/y efa fViend in the Bospital.) 
Statement made by a resp^tjtble woman, wlio 
had the charge of me during a part of my stay 

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in the Bellerue Hospital, in New York. 8h0 
18 ready to substantiate it. It is now first pub- 

^Iwas employed as an occasional assistant in the Belle- 
rac Hospital, in New York, in t!ie spring of the year 1835. 
My department was in the Middle House and the pantry» 
I was present one day in the room of Mrs. Johnston, the 
Matron, when a man came in with a young woman, and 
gave a note to Mrs. J., (which I understood was from Col. 
Pish,) the Superintendent, Mr. Stevens, being out. The 
female was dressed in a light blue calico frock, a salmon- 
coloured shawl, and a black bonnet, under which was a 
plain cap, something like a night-cap, which I afterward 
nnderstood was a nun's cap. Being occupied at the time, 
I paid no attention to the conversation which took place 
between her and the Matron ; but I soon heard that she was 
a nun, who had escaped from a convent in Canada, who 
had been found in a destitute condition, hy some persons 
tikocfting in the fields, and that she was in such a sitoaiion 
as to demand comforts and careful treatment 

*' She was placed in room No. 33, where most of the in- 
mates were aged American Women ; but as she appeared 
depressed and melancholy, the next day Mr. Stevens 
brought her into No. 36, and put her under my particular 
charge, as he said the Women in that room were younger. 
They were, however, almost all Roman Catholics, as there 
are many in the institution generally. 

" I told her she might confide in me, as I felt for her 
fHendless and unhappy situation ; and finding her ignorant 
of the Bible, and entertaining some superstitious views, I 
gave her one, and advised her to read the scriptures, and 
judge for herself. We had very little opportunity to con- 
Terse in private ; and although she several times said she 
wished she could teU me something, no opportunity offered, 
as I was with her only now and then, when I could step 
lala tha room for a ftw mantes. I diioonragad har froia 

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miking:, because those around appeared to1)e (constanfly 
listeniag, and some told her not to mind \that heretic* 

" Seeing her unhappy state of mind, it was several ti^es 
proposed to her to see Mr. Tappan ; and, after a week or 
twoj as I should judge, he visited her, advised her to read 
tfie Bible, and judge for herself of her duty. 

" One Sabbath I invited her to attend service, and we 
went to hear Mr. Tappan preach j but after her return, 
some of the Irish worHen told her to go no more, but mind 
her owTi religion. This produced an impression upon her, 
for she seemed like. a child of tender feeling, gentle, and 
disposed to yield. She bound herself round my heart a 
good deal, she was of so afiectionate a turn. The rudenesa 
with which she was treated by several of the women, when 
they dared, would sometimes overcome' her. A large and 
rather old woman, named Welsh, one of the inmates, enter- ' 
ed the room one day, v'ery abruptly, saying, * I want to see * 
this virtuous nitn ;* and abused her with most shameftil Ian-' 
guage, so that I had to rebuke her, suid eox&plained of her^ 
toth^ Superinteiident, who was shocked at such impudence ^ 
in a foreign pauper, so that she was put into anbthertoom. 
Maria was washing her hands at the time Mrs. Welsh came^ 
in, and was so much agitated, that she ^id not raise her 
head, and almost fainted, so that I had tdlift her upon a bed. 

" Before this occurrence, the womeu would often spesdt 
to Maria while I waS away, and, as i bad every reason to 
believe, endeavoured to persuade her to go to the priests. 
I told them that they ought rather to protect her, as she had 
come to the same country where they had sought prblection, 

" Mr. Conroy, a Roman priest, used to be regularly at 
the institution twp or three times a week, fi'om about 10 till 
1 o'clock, botk before and after Maria Monk became an in- 
mate of it. No. 10 was his confession-room. He baptized 
children in the square-ward, and sometimes visited the sick 
Catholics in other rooms. Sometimes he went up in tha 
afternoon also. 

" I heard it said, that Mr. Conroy had asked to speak 

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with Mmria; tnd UmU an offer wm madft to Mm that lie 
might see her before others, but not otherwise, to whicfai 
Bir. Cooroy did not eonsent. 

"Sometimes Maria was much disturbed in her steep, 
atarting suddenly, with every appearance of terror. Some 
nights she did not sleep at all, and oAen told me, what I 
had no donbt was the fact, that she was too much agitated 
by the recoUection of what she had seen in the Nunnery. 
Bhs would sometimes say in the morning, * O, if I could 
tell you ! Yoa think you have had trouble, but I have had 
more than ever you did.' 

" Her distressing state of mind, with the trials caused by 
those around her, kept me constantly thinking of Maria, so 
that when employed at a distance from her, I would often 
run to her room, |o see how she was for a moment, and 
back again. Fortunately, the women around held me 
•omewhat in fear, because they found my reports of the in- 
terference of some were attended to; and this kept them 
more at a distance ^ yet they would take advantage of my 
absence sometimes. One day, <m coming to No, 23, X 
found Maria all in a tremour, and she told me that Mrs. 
** *, one of the Roman Catholic nurses, had informed her 
^bnX Mr. Conroy was in the institution, and wished to see 
her. ' And what i^udl I do V she inquired of mc, in great 

" I told her not to be afraid, and that she should be pro- 
tected, as she was among fViends, and endeavoured to quiet 
her fears alH could; but it was very difficult to do so. One 
of the women in the house, I know, told Maria, in my 
presence, one day, that Mr. Conroy was waiting in the 
passage to see her. 

" The present Superintendent (another Mr. Stevens) suc- 
ceeded the former while Maria and I were in the Hospital. 
Abby Welsh (not the Mrs. Welsh mentioned before) got 
very angry with me one day, because, as usual on the days 
when Mr. Conroy came, I was watchful to prevent his 
having an interview with Mar^ Another person, for a 

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*ttine, used to employ her in sewing in her room on ibo9t 
dajrs, for she also protected her, as well in this way^ as bjr 
reproving those who trx)ubled her. Abby Welsh, finding 
ine closely watching Maria on the day I was speaking <^ 
told me, in a passion, that I might watch her as closely as 
1 pleased — ^Mr. Conroy would have her. Not long after this, 
I saw Abby Welsh talking earnestly with Mr. Conroy, in 
ihe yard, under one of the windows of th« Middle Hduse, 
and heard her say, * the nun,* and afterward, * she*s hid.* 

'* A Roman Catholic wom^n, who supposed that Maria 
had been seen in St. Mary's Church, expressed a wish that 
she conld faaTe eaught her there ; and said, she would never 
ftgftin hare made her i^^ftranee. I Inquired whethor 
there was any place where she could h^ve been confined. 
She replied, in a reserved, but significant manner, ^ There 
is at least one cell there for her.' 

*'New York, March 23d, 1836.'» 

It would be a natural question, if my readers 
should ask, **W,hat said the Roman Catholics to 
such testimonials 1 They laid great stress on a& 
davits sent for to Moirtreal ; what do they thinic of 
affidavits spontaneously given in New York ?'* 

So fiir as I know, they have republished but one^ 
and that is Mr. Miller^s. 

The N. Y. Catholic Diary of March 19ih, said— 

"We taks the following own»htlmi^g testiUMny froai 
the ^rooUyik American Citizen of the 1 Ith instant : 

**The following aflEldavits, &c., are copied from the last 
No. of the * Protestant Vindicator,' and prove, it seems to 
us, taken with other corroborating circamstances, the false* 
huod^ or irrelevancy of the testimony against Miss Monk, 
and therefore establish the truth of her narrative :" 

(H^e 'it inserted Mr. Miller's affidavit, and then 

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mp AFF»lllttX. 

"What 18 the wdght of the affidaviti Of po&dterons 
itnporCl 'I inquired where Maria was, and she told me 
she was in the Nnnnery.' Therefore she is an eloped 
Kan! Marvelloas logical affidavit! We may saj^, that 
wlien an inquiry is made after the editor of this paper, and 
Ihe answer is, that he was in a Protestant Church, there- 
fore he is a Protestant minister." 

The Rev: Mr. Schndler, (for a Catholic pri^ is 
the editor of that paper,) thus tries to slide over the 
important testimony of Mr. Miller, and in doing it, 
admits I was in the Hotel Dieu Nunnery in ihe 
summer of 1832. Ctf course, he admits then, that 
Dr. Robertson*t testimony to the contrary is false, 
and gives up the great point which the Montreal 
affidavits were intended to settle, viz. that I had 
not heen in any Nunnery — at least, not since I was a 

But another thing is worthy of remark. The 
Diary says, •• We take the following e^rwhelm- 
ing testimony from the Brooklyn American Citi- 
zen," yet he really leaves out the greater part of 
t!he testimony which that paper contaizted, v\z. the 
certificate heginning on page 238. Let any one turn 
to that, and ask whether the editor had not some rea- 
son to wish to keep it ftom his readers f Kd he 
not get rid of it very ingeniously, when he inserted 
the following remarks instead of it? 

** The following statement has been famished by the fe- 
male wimess above tpentioned ; the name beiug reserved 
only from delicacy to a lady's feelings." 

** excellent* 'delicacy to a ladjr** feelings! I* we are ab- 
sorbed in an exclamation of wondef; the delicate iiam«,iii^ 

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a matter of such vast imponanc^ as that w^eh assets 
tjb£ PnUk of the slanderous tale, cannot be meationed ! 

" Therefore, * we, the subscribers,* * Brownlee, Sloeum, 
Bruce, Fanshaw, Belden, Wesson, and Hogan,' rest the 
weight of their authority upon the 'delicacy' of a name- 
less < lady's feelings.' " 

Now here Mr. Schellner pretends that the witness 
was not accessible, and leaves it in doubt, whether 
the subscribers, (men of known character and unim- 
peachable veracity,) knew any thing of her. Yet 
it was expressly stated by them that she was known, 
and that any reasonable inquiries would be readily 
answered, (See p. 236.) 

I have no intention of attempting to enforce the 
evidence presented in the testimonials just given. I 
shall leave every reader to form his own conclu- 
sions independently and dispassionately. I could 
easily say things likely to excite the feelings of 
every one who peruses these pages — ^but I prefer to 
persist in the course I have thus lar pursued, arid 
abstain from all exciting expressions. The things 
I declare are sober realities, and nothing is neces- 
sary to have them so received; but that the evidence 
be calmly laid before the public. 

I will make one or two suggestions here, for the 
purpose of directing attention to points of import- 
ance, though one or two of them have been already 
touched upon. 

1st One of the six affidavits was given by Dr. 
Robertson, and the remaining five were sworn to 
befbt'e hiitt, 


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2d. T)ie witoesset tpaak of interyiews with me, 
on two of the most distressing days of my life. 
Now let the reader refer to those affidavits when 
he has read page 268th, and chapter 8th, in the 
•* SequeV^ and then say, whether any expressions 
which they may have misunderstood, or any which 
may have heen fehricated for me, (as I strongly sus- 
pect must have been the fact with some,) ought to 
destroy my character for credibility; especially when 
I appeal to evidence so incontestible as an inspec- 
tion of the nunnery, and my opponents shrink from 
it. Let the reader observe also, that in the inter- 
views spoken of in the affidavits, no third person is 
commonly spoken of as present ; while those who 
are named are mo^ of them inimical to me. 

3d. All the testimony in the affidavits is aimed to 
destroy my character, and to prevent me from re- 
ceiving any credit as a witness. Not a bit of it 
meets the charges I make against the priests and 
nuns. If they had proved that I was never in the 
nunnery, that, indeed; would set aside my testi- 
mony : but failing to do that, the attempt goes far to 
set their own aside. 

Having now fairly shown my readers what re- 
e^tion my first edition met with, both from enemies 
and friends, I proceed to the " Sequel" of ray mn* 

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The followi&g Seqael was prepared for the press some 
mouths ago, being originally intended to form the conclu- 
sion of my first publication. It being bought best, by my 
friends, in my first editions, to confine the attention of my 
readers entirely to the Convent, I ecmcladed to close with 
the moment of my esciqK, adding only a few pages in t^ 
lation to some circumsiances that took place in New York. 

The contents of this Seqael were committed to ps^er be- 
fore I ever saw the Montreal aflldavits, and nothing has 
been added since, except a few notes, which appeared ne- 
cessary to elucidate certain points which seemed to require 
them. Some of my friends, who had examined those affi- 
davits, put questions to me suggested by them; and, as they 
since have told me, found many things in my accounts un- 
designedly confirmed by my adversaries, in this manner, 
as well as by comparing the aflklavits with the record al- 
ready made. 

The reader who compares the account of my first inter- 
view with Dr. Robertson, in the '* Sequel," with that in his 
affidavit, will find many circumstances to correspond; 
and, I repeat it, the former was written as it stands, be- 
fore I had seen the latter. As to what is said about my 
attempts to deceive, and my avowals of things not consist- 
ent with my story, I can only say, that I do not know that I 
remember all I said, in the state of distress in which I was 
8t the fime'i but that I hav^ no jWdOte'ctiGb of hkTm|r' eVW& 

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fpokisB of several of the subjects mentioned, by himself and 
other signers of the affidavits. It appears plain, however, 
that Dr. Robertson felt a peculiar desire (for some reason 
or other) to represent my character in the most nnfstvonr- 
able light he could. 

I have had many questions asked of me concerning my 
adventures after my escape from the Convent, and partic- 
ularly of what happened during my visit to Montreal in 
August, 1835. I could therefore wish, that my Sequel had 
been rather more detailed in some parts ; but it has not 
received any such additions, because it is to be presumed 
that it must be more satisfactcMy to the public to know, that 
it contains nothing bat what was originally there. 

My readers, I think, will learn f^om the following pages» 
that when a nun has merely escaped from a Convent but a 
small part of her difficulties and dangers may be passed. 
They mi^r also perceive some of the reasons why so few 
nuns have ever been brought to give testimony concerning 
what they know. 

For my own part, t may say that I was a hundred 
times, perhaps I might say a thousand times, on the poii^ 
•f having my testimony suppressed for evar. 

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M liberty— Doubtful what to do — Foimd r^fugt for tke Mghi 
— Disappointment'— My first day out qf the Convent— Soli' 
tude—BecolLectionSi fears, and plans, 

I HAVE but a confused idea of the manner in 
which I go^ through some of the doors } several of 
them, I am confident, were &stened, and <»ieortwo 
I fastened behind me.* But I was now in the 
street, and what was to be done next? I had got 
my liberty ; but where should I go 9 It was dark, 
I was in great danger, gc which way I would ; 
and for a moment, I tnoug&t I had been unwise to 
leave the Convent If I could return unobserved, 
would it ^ot be better ? But summoning resolution, 
I turned to the left, and ran some distance up the 
street ; then reflecting that I had better take the op- 
posite direction, I returned under the same Con- 
vent walls, and ran as fiust down to St. Paui'sstreet, 
then turning up towards the north, exerted all my 

* Before leaying the imnnrrv grottUda, I ran rmnd t^e end <rf 
the building, stood a moment in hesitation whether I had not 
better return, then hastening back to the otha: aide^ ran to th« 
glBtftat Opened il^ a»d w«Kt cwt 

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ftrength, and fled for my life. It was a cold even- 
ing, but I stopped for nothing, having recollected 
the house where I had been put to board for a short 
time, by the priest Roque; when prepared to enter 
the Convent as a novice, and resolved to seek a 
lodging there for the night Thither I went. It 
seemed as if I flew rather than ran. It was by that 
time so dark, that I was able to see distinctly through 
the low windows, by the light within ; and had the 
pleasure to find that she Was alone with her chil- 
dren. I therefore went boldly to the door, was re- 
ceived with readiness, and entered to take up my 
lodging there once more. 

Here I changed my nun's dress for one less like 
ly to excite observation ; and having received a few 
' dollazs in addition to make up the difference, I re- 
tired to rest, determined to rise early and take the 
morning steamboat for Cluebec. I knew that my 
hostess was a friend of the Superior, as I have 
mentioned before, and presumed that it would not 
be IcMQg b^ore she would give information against 
me. I knew, however, that she could not gain ad- 
mittance to the Convent very early, and felt safe in 
remaining in the house through the night. 

But after I had retired I found it impossible to 
sleep, and the night appeared very long. In the 
morning early, I requested that a son of the woman 
might accompany me to the boat, which he did. At 
an early hour, therefore, I walked to the steamboat, 
but learnt, to my regret, that it would not go before 
night. Fearing that I might fall into the handd of 

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the pnests, and be carried back to the nunnery, and 
not knowing where to go, I turned away, and de- 
termined to seek some retired spot immediately. I 
walked through a part of the city, and some dis- 
tance on the Lachine road, when finding a solitary 
j^ce, I seated myself in much duress of mind, 
feariul and anxious, beyond my power of descrip- 
tion. I could not think myself safe anywhere in 
the neighbourhood of Montreal; for the priests 
w^e numerous, and almost all the people Were en- 
tirely devoted to them. They would be very desi- 
rous of finding me, and, as I believed, would 
make great exertions to get me again in their 

It was a pleasaitf spot where I now found my- , 
selC and as the weather was not uncomfortable in 
the daytime, I had nothing to trouble me except my 
reeollectioiKS and fears. As for the want of food, 
that gave me not the slightest uneasiness, as I felt 
no inclination whj^ver to eat. The uncertainty 
and doubts I coi^inually felt, kept me in a state of 
irresolution the whole day. What should I do 9 
Where should I go? I had not a friend in the 
world to whom I could go with confidence; while 
my enemies were numerous, and, it seemed to me, 
all around me» and ready to seize me. I thought 
of my imcle, who lived at the dii^nee of five 
miles; ^nd sometimes I almost d^ermined to set 
off immediately for his house. I had visited it 
(^n when a child, and had been received with the 
utmost kindness. I remembered that I had been a 

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d60 Appxiipix. 

great faYouate of bis; bat some eonsidefatioiis 
would arise which discouraged me from looking for 
safety in that direction. The steamboat was to de* 
part in a few hours. I could venture to pasv 
through the city once more by twilight ; and if onci* 
arrived at Gtuebec, I should be at a great distimce 
from the nunnery, in a large city, and among a 
larger proportion of Protestant inhabitants. Among 
them I might find friends, or, at least, some sort of 
protection ; and I had no doubt that I could sup^ 
port myself by labour. 

Then I thought again of the place I had left ; 
the kindness and sympathy, small though they 
were, which I had found in some of my late com- 
panions in the Convent; the awiul mortal sin I 
had committed in breaking my vows; and the ter* 
rible punishment I should receive if taken as a fii- 
gitive and carried back. If I should return volun- 
tarily, and ask to be admitted again: what would 
the Superior say, how wouM she treat me'i Should 
I be condemned to any very severe penance ? Might' 
I not, at least, escape death 1 But then there was 
one consideration that would now and then occur 
to me, which excited the strongest determination 
never to return. I was to become a mother, and 
the thought of witnessing the murder of my own 
child was more than, I could bear. 

Purgatory was doubtless my portion; and per- 
haps hell for ever — ^such a purgatory and hell as 
are painted in the Convent : hvA there was one hope 
for me yet. 

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8B<^t;BL. 261 

I might confess all my deadly sins sometime be- 
fore I died, and a Bis bop could pardon tbe worst of 

This was good Catholic doctrine, and I rested 
upon it with so much hope, that I was not quite 
driven to despair. 

In reflections like these, I spent the whole day, 
afraid to stray from the secluded spot to which 1 
had retreated, though at different times forming mo- 
mentary plans to leave it, and go in various direc- 
tions. I ate not a morsel of food, and yet felt no 
hunger. Had I been well provided, I could have 
lasted nothing in such a state of mind. The aiier- 
noon wasted away, the sun set, and darkness began 
to come on : I rose and set off again for the city 
I passed along the streets unmolested by any one ; 
and reached it a ahort time before the boat was 
fluffy to start 

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Start/or Quebeo—RecognUed—Diaappointtd again—Not per- 
mitUd to land— Return to Montreal—Landed and p€is»ed 
trough Hu city b^or.e day—Lachine Canal-^Intended dost 
of my life. 

Soon after we left the shore, the captain, whom 
I had previously seen, appeared to recognise me. 

He came up and inquired if I was not the daugh- 
ter of my mother, mentioning her name. I had 
long been taught and accustomed to deceive ; and 
it may be supposed that in such a case I did not 
hesitate to deny the truth, hoping that I might avoid 
being known, and fearing to be defeated in my ob^ 
ject. He however persisted that he knew me, and 
said that he must insist on my returning with him 
to Montreal, adding that I must not leave his boat 
to land at Quebec. I said but little to him, but in- 
tended to get on shore if possible, at the end of our 
journey — a thing I had^-no doubt I might effect. 

When we reached Quebec, however, I found, to 
my chagrin, that the ladies' maid carefully locked 
the cabin-door while I was in, after the ladies had 
left it, who were six or eight in number. 

I said little, and made no attempts to resist the re- 
striction put upon me ; but secretly cherished the 
hope of being able, by watching an opportunity, to 
slip on shore at tea-time, and lose myself among the 
streets of the city. Although a total stranger to 

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Quebec, I longed to be at liberty there, as I thought 
I could soon place myself among persons who 
would secure me from the Catholics, each of whom 
I now looked upon as an enemy. , 

But I soon found that my last hopes were blight- 
ed : the maid, having received, as I presumed, strict 
orders from the captain, kept me closely confined, 
so that escape was impossible. I was distressed, it 
is true, to find myself in this condition ; but I had 
already become accustomed to disappointments, and 
therefore perhaps sunk less under this new one, 
than I might otherwise have done. When the 
hour for departure arrived, I was therefore still con- 
fined in the steamboat, and it was not until we had 
left the shore that I was allowed to leave the cabin. 
The captain and others treated me w^ith kindness 
in every respect, except that of permitting me to do 
what I most desired. I have sometimes suspected, 
that he had received notice of my escape from some 
of the priests, with a request to stop my flight, if I 
should go on board his boat. His wife is a Catho- 
lic, and this is the only way in which I can account 
. for his conduct : still I have not sufficient know- 
ledge of his motives and intentions to speak with en- 
tire confidence on the subject. 

My time passed heavily on board of the steam- 
boat, particularly on my passage up the river to- 
wards Montreal. My mind was too much agitated 
to allow me to sleep, for I was continually medita- 
ting on the scents I had witnessed in the Convent, 
arfd Etntidi^ting with dread such as I had reason to 

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964 APPBl^DIX. 

think I might soon be called to pass through. ( 
bought for a trifle while on board, I hardly know 
why« a small medallion with a head upon it, and tho 
name of Robertson, which I hui^g on my neck. As 
I sat by day with nothing to do, I occasionally sunk 
into a. doze for a few minutes, when I usually waked 
with a start from some frightful dream. Sometimes 
I thought I was running away from the priests, and 
closely pursued, and sometimes had no hope of es- 
cape. But the most distressing of my feelings were 
those I suffered in rfie course of the night We 
stopped some time at Berthier, where a number of 
prisoners were taken on board, to be carried up the 
^iver ; and this caused much confusion, and added 
to my painful reflections. 

My mind became much agitated, worse than it 
had been before ; and what between waking fears, 
and sleeping visions, I spent a most wretched night. 
Sometimes I thought the priests and nuns had me 
shut up in a dungeon ; sometimes they were about 
to make way with me in a most cruel manner. 
Once I dreamed that I was in some house, and a 
c<^ch came up to the door, into which I was to be 
put by force; and the man who seized me, and was 
putting me in, had no head. 

When we reached Mcmtreal on Saturday morn- 
ing, it was not daylight ; and the captain, landing, 
set ofl^ as I undented, to give my mother informa- 
tion that I was in his boat. He was gone a long 
time, which led me to conjecture that he might 
have found diflkulty in speatring with her ; but the 

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delay proved very fevourable to me, for perceiving 
that I was neither Ipcked up nor watched, I hasten- 
ed on shore, and pursued my way into the cityt' I 
felt happy at my escape : but what was I then to 
do? Whither couW I go? Not to my mother : I 
was certain I could not remain long with her, with- 
out being known to the priests.. , » 

My friendlessness and utter helplessness, with the 
^ead of being murdered in the Convent, added to 
thoughts of the shame that mnst await me if I 
lived a few months, made me take a desperate reso- 
lution, and I hurried to put it into effect. 

My olgect was to reach the head of the Lachine 
Canal, which is near the St. Lawrence, beyond the 
extremity of the southern suburbs. I walked hast- 
ily along St. PauFs street, and found all the houses 
still shut ; then turning to the old RecoUet Church, 
I reached N6tre-.Dame street, which I &>llowed in 
the direction I wished to go. 

The morning was chilly, as the season was some- 
what advanced : but that was of no importance to 
me. Day had appeared, and I desired to accom- 
plish the object on which I was now bent, before 
the light should much increase. I walked on there^ 
fore, but the morning had broken bright before I 
arrived at the Canal ; and then I found to my dis- 
appointment that two Canadians were at work on 
the bank, getting water, or doing something else. 

I was by the great basin where the boats start, 
and near the large canal storehouse. 1 have not 
said what was my design : it was to drown myself. 

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l^etnng the men would rescue me, I hesitated 
for some time, hoping they would r^re : but find- 
feg that they did not, I grew impatient I stood 
' looking on the water ; it was nearly on a level with 
the hanks, which shelved away, as I could perceive 
for some distance, there being no wind to disturb 
the surface. There was nothing in the sight which 
seemed frightful or even forbidding to me j I looked 
upon it as the means of the easiest death, and long- 
ed to be buried below. At length finding that the 
men were not likely to leave the place, I sprung 
from the bank, and was in an instant in the cold wa- 
ter. The shock was very severe. I felt a sharp 
freeing sensation run through me, which almost 
immediately rendered me insensible; and the last 
thing I can recollect was, that I was sinking in the 
midst of water almost as cold as ice, which wet my 
clothes, and covered mb all over. 

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CHAPTER nr. * 

r- magraaUr-ln^rodwsLion to my mother— Stay in her ?iQuat — 
Rtmoval from it to Mrs. Jj^cDonoM^s^JReium to mymo' 
th&/^$ — Desire to get to Neto* York—Arrangements for go*- 

How long I remained in the canal I knew not: 
but in about three minutes, as I conjectured, I felt a 
severe blow on my right side ; and opening my eyes 
\^ saw myself surrounded by men, who talked a 
great deal, and expr^s^d much anxiety and curiosi- 
t^ about me. They inquired of me my name, where 
I lived, and why I had thrown myself into the wa- 
ter : but I would not answer a word, fhe blow 
which I had felt, and which was probably the cause 
of bringing me for a few moments to my senses, I 
presume was caused by my felling, after I was res- 
cued, upon the stones, which lay thickly scattered 
iiear the water. I remember that the persons around 
me continued to press me with questions, and that I 
still remained silent Some of theip haying obser- 
ved the little medallion on my neck, and being able 
to read, declared that I was probably a daughter of 
Dr. Robertson, as it bore the name \ but to this, I 
also gave no answer, and sunk again into a state of 

When my senses once more Teturned, I found 
myself lying in ^ bed covered up warm, in a house, 

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968 £L?TVix9ij^ 

and heard several persons talking of the mass, ^om 
whjih they had jmst returned I could not imagine 
where I was, for my thoughts were not easily col- 
lected, and every thing seemed Grange around me. 
Some of them, on account of the name on the little 
medallion, had sent to Dr. Robertson, to inform him 
that a young woman had been prevailed from 
drowning herself in the basin, who had a portr^t 
on her neck, with his fiimily name stamped upon it ; 
and he had sent word, that although she could be 
no relation of his, they had better bring her to his 
house, as he possibly might be able to learn who 
she was. Preparations were therefore made to 
conduct me thither ; and I was soon in his^ house. 
This was about midday, or a little latfer. 

The doctor endeavoured to draw from me some 
confession of my femily : but I n^fused ; my feelings 
would not permit me to giw him any satisfaction. 
He offered to send me to my home if I would tell 
him where I lived ; but at length, thinking me un- 
reasonable and obstinate, began to threaten to send 
me to jail. 

In a short time I found that the latter measure 
was determined on, and I was soon put into the 
hands of the jailer. Captain Holland, and placed in 
a private room in his house. 

I had formerly been acquainted with his children, 
but had such strong reasons for remaining unknown, 
that I hoped they would not recognise me; and, as 
we had not met for several years, I flattered mys^ 
^hnt such would be the case. It was, at first, at I 

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•K4VEL. 269 

had hoped ; they saw me in the evening, but did not 
appear to saspect who I was. Tite onA x^oimBg, 

^howerer, one of them asked me if I were notsiater 
ef my brother, mentioning his name^' apd though I 
denied it, they all insisted that I must be, for the 
iik^iess, they said, was sarpiisingly strong. I still 

: would nc^ admit the truth ^ \aA requested they wouM 
«end for the Rev. Mr. Esson, a Presbyterian clergy- 
xnan in Montreal, saying I had something to say to 
htm. He soon made his appearance, and I gare 
him some account of myselC and requested him to 

.procure my release from confinement, as I thought 
there was no reason why I should be deprived of my 


Cowtrary td my wishes, however, he went and 

'iD&ameA my motW. An unhappy difference had 
tndsted betweai us ^r many years, concerning which 

^liWould not speak, were it not necessary to allude 
to it, to render some things intelligible which are 
important to my narrative. I am willing to bear 
imu^h. of tl^ blanie : for my drawing part of her 
passion had justly irritated her. I shall not at- 
tempt to justify or explain my own feelings with 
Tespeet to ^ny mother, whom I stiU regard at least 
in some degree as I ought I will merely say, that 
I thought she indulged in partialities and antipa- 

.4hies in her &imly during my childhood ; and that 

-I attribute my entrance into the nunnery, and the 
^misfortunes I have suffered, to my early estrange- 
ment from home, and my separation from the fiuni- 
ly. I had neither seen her nor heard from her m 

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970 AFFBN0IX. 

jwfwral 3riu»; and knew not irlielhar ahe had wma 
icBoim of mj entrance inta the CoATeni, ahhongh I 
now learnt, that she still resided wiinre she former- 
ly did. 

It was therefore with r^fret that I heard that my 
mother had heen informed of my condition; and 
that I saw an Irishwoman, an acquaintance of hers, 
come to take me to the house. I had no doidbt that 
ahe would think. I had disgfraced her, hy being im- 
prisoned, as well as by my attempt to drown my- 
eelf ; and what would be her feelings towards me, I 
isould only conjecture. 

I accompanied the woman to my mother's, and 
found nearly suck a reception as I had expected. 
Notwithstanding our mutual feelings were muck as 
they had been, she wished me to stay with her, and 
iiept me in one of her rooms for several weeks, uA 
with the utmost privacy, fearing that my appearance 
would kad to questions, and that my imprison- 
ment would beccone known. I soon satisfied my- 
self that she knew little of what I had passed 
through, within the few past years; and did not 
think it prudent to inform her, for that would great- 
ly have increased the risk of my being discovered 
by the priests. We were surrounded by those who 
went frequently to confession, and would hav<e 
thought me a monster of wickedness, guilty of break* 
ing the most solemn vows, and a fiigkive from a re- 
treat whick is generally regarded there as a place 
of great sanctity, and almost like a gate to heaven. 
I well knew the ignorance and prejudices of the 

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SSQVSL. 271 

poor Caiia4ia&8, and tinder^ood bow micb & person 
as myself mu$t appear in their eyes, Tbey felt as 
I ifonnerly had, and wonld think it a service to reli* 
giom and to God to b^ay the place of my conceal- 

\mentf if by chance th^ ehonki find, or even suspect 
it. As I had become, in the eyes of Catholics, '•a 
^Kmse of Jesus Christ," by taking the veil, my 
leaving the Cbnvet^ must appear to them a fojrsa-^ 
king of the Saviour. 

As things were, however, I renmined for some 
time undisturbed My bl^other, though he lived ii^ 
the hou^s did not know of my being there for a fort-^ 

When he learnt it, imd came to see me, he ex^ 
pressed much kmdness towards me: but I had not 

; me^ him hr several years, and had seen so much 
evil, that I knew not what secret motives he might 
have, and thought it prudent to be reserved. I« 
iherefere^ communicated to him nothii^ of my ] 
tory or intentions, and rather repulsed his advances. 
The truth is, I had been so long among nuns and 
priests, that I thought there was no sincerity or 

^virtue <m earth. 
* What were my mother's wishes or intentions to- 
wards me, I was not informed: but I found after-. 
ward, that she must have made arrangements to 

' have me removed from her house, for one day a 
woman came to the door with a cariole, and on be^ 
ing admitted to see me, expressed herself in a 
friendly manner, spoke of the necessity of air and 
exercise for my health, and invited me to take a 

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ride. I consented, supposing we should soon re- 
turn : but whert we reached St, Antoine suburte, 
she drove up to a house which I had ftumeiiy 
heard to be some kind of trefuge, stepped, and re- 
quested me to alight. My first thi^ught was, that I 
should be exposed to certain detection, by some of 
the priests whom I presumed officiated there; as 
they had all known me in the noMiery. I eo^ld 
not aveid entering ; but I resolved to feign sick- 
ness, hoping thus to be placed out of sight of the 

The result was according to my wishes: A>r I 
wiw taken to an upp^r room, which was used as an 
infirmary, and there permitted to remain. Th«e 
were a large number of women in the house ; and 
a Mrs. McDonald, who has the management of |t» 
had her daughters in the Ursutine Nunnery *•! 
Ctuebec, and her son in the college. The nafure of 
the establishment I could not fully undetstfind : but 

seemed to me deigned to become a nunnery lit 
som^future thne. 

I f^lt pretty safe in the house, so long as I was 
certain of remaining in the infirmary ; for there 
was nobody there who had ever seen me befom. 
But I resolved to avoid, if possible, ever making 
my appearance below, for I felt that I could not io 
it without hazard of discovery. 

Among other appendages of a Convent whidk I 
ol}served in that place, was a confessional within 
the building, and I soon learnt, to my dismay, tint 
Father Bonin, one of the murderers of Saitit Frah- 

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•S<ltJEL. 273 

ci8» was in the habit of constant attendance as priest 
and confessor. The recollections which I often 
indulged in of scenes in the Hotel Dieu, gave me 
uneasiness ieuad distress : but not knowing where to 
goto seek greater seclusion, I remained in the infir- 
mary week after week, still affecting illness in the 
best manner I could. At length I found that I wasi 
suspected of playing off a deception with regard to 
the state of my health ; and at the close of a few 
weeks, I became satisfied that I could not remain 
longer without making my appearance below stairs. 
I at length complied with the wishes I heard ex- 
pressed, that I would go into the community-room,, 
where those in health were accustomed to assemble 
to work, and then some of the women began to talk 
of my going tp confession, I merely expressed 
unwillingness at first ; but when they pressed the 
point, and began to insist, my fear of d^ection over-^ 
came every other feelings, and I plainly declared 
that I would not go, This led to an altercation,, 
when the mistress of the house pronounced me in- 
corrigible, and said she would not keep me for a 
hundred pounds a year. She, in fact, became sa 
weary of having me there, that she sent to my 
mother to take me f^way. 

My mother, in consequence, sent a cariole for me,^ 
and took me again into h^ house ; but I became so 
imhappy in a place where I was secluded and des-i 
titute of all agreeable society, that I earnestly re^ 
quested her to allow me to leave Canada. I ber 
lieve she felt rei^iy to have me removed to a Hbt^ 

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tance, that she might not bo in daager of haying 
my attempt at self-destruction, and my confinement 
in pnson made public. 

There was a fact which I had not disclosed, and 
of which all were ignorant: viz., that which had 
so much influence in exciting me to leave the Con- 
vent, and to reject every idea of returning to it 

When conversing with my mother about leaving 
Canada, I proposed to go to New- York. She in- 
quired why I wished to go there. I made no an- 
swer to that question : for, though I had never been 
there, and knew scarcely any thing about the place, 
I presumed that I should find protection firom mj 
enemies, as I knew it was in a Protestant country. 
I had not thought of going to the United States be- 
fore, because I had no one to go with me, nor money 
enough to pay my expenses ; but then a plan pre- 
sented itself to my mind, by which I thought I 
might proceed to New York in safety. 

There was a man who I presumed would wish 
to have me leave Canada, on his own account ; and 
that was the man I had so precipitately married 
while residing at St. Denis. He must have had 
motives, as I thought, for wishing me at a distance. 
I proposed therefore that he should be informed that 
I was in Montreal, and anxious to go to the States ; 
and such a message was sent to him by a woman 
whom my mother knew.* She had a little stand for 

* Mrs. Tarbert, or M'Gim. See her afildayit, paga 22Q. 
What house she refers to I cannot conjecture. 

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sxavEL. 27i 

the sale of some articles, and had a husband who 
carried on some similar kind of business at the 
Scotch mountain. Through her husband, as I sup- 
pose, she had my message conveyed, and soon in- 
formed me that arrangements were made for my 
commeneing my journey, under the care of the per* 
son to whom it had been seat. 

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Singular eoneurrenee qf eircunuianetay which enabled me to 
get to the United States — Intentume in going there — Com- 
menee my jowmtif^Peare of my eompanionr—JStop at White- 
hall—Injury received in a canal boat— Arrival cU New York 
—A solitary retreat. 

It is remarkable that I was able to stay so long 
in the midst of Catholics without discovery, and at 
last obtain the aid of some of them in effecting my 
flight There is probably not a person in Montreal, 
who would sooner have betrayed me into the power 
of the priests than that woman, if she had known 
my history. 

She was a frequent visiter at the Convent and the 
Seminary, and had a ticket which entitled her every 
Monday to the gift of a loaf of bread from the for- 
mer. She had an unbounded respect for the Supe- 
rior and the priests, and seized every opportunity 
to please them. Now the fact that she was willing 
to take measures to facilitate my departure from 
Montreal, a^rded sufficient evidence to me of her 
entire ignorance of myself in all respects in which 
I could wish her to be ignorant ; and I confided in 
her, because I perceived that she felt no stronger 
motive, than a disposition to oblige my mother. 

Should any thing occur to let her into the secret 
of my being a fugitive from the Black Nunnery, I 
knew that I could not trust to ]ier kindness for an 

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&stani "TSe dffifeoifety ^ pSi ftgt^?rdtld ti ai« i < Mi » 
iiet inix> a bitter and ddfeidly enemy. Bh«r wdctbi •«( 
once regard nie as guflty of ihortA «ln, kn ftj^tiaXt^ 
and a proper object of petaectftion: Atid thfe was « 
reflection I bad often reason to make, ^ben tbiiiking 
of the nnmerOTis Catholics around rafe. -How im- 
j[k)rtant, then, the keeping of my secret, Imd my es- 
cape before tbe truth should become teown, even tb 
b single person near me.' 

] t could realize, from the dangers tbrottg^b ynhiA 
i was brought by tTie handW God, bow diflkult !i 
must be, in most cases, for a fugitive from a hnnne* 
ry to obtain her final freedom fr6m ^he power of her 
demies. Evenr if escaped^fipom a Conrent, to long 
tis she remains among Gathblltes, 'she is in constant 
^posure to be informed ag^amat * esj^edally^if thft 
news of her iescape is made public, which ^munate- 
iy was hot the feet in my case. 
* If a CJadiolic comes to the knowledge of any fee* 
^Iculated to expbSe Such a p^son, he will think It 
Ills dnty to disclose it at confession ; and then ^e 
whole fraternity wfllbe in motion to seize her. 

How happy for me that not a suspicion was en- 
tertained fedhcemin^ me, Tftrid that not a whisper 
against me was breathed into the eap^a'singld 
priest at confession t * ' 

Notwithstanding my frequent a^pearande m* the 
'Streets, my removals -from ptace to place^ andi^ 
Tarious exposures I luid to discovery, contrary to 
my lears, whith haunted me even in my dreansi, I 
Was preserved; and as I have oto^t thought, for tk^ 

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> #f wiW|ig tht iitkUmnxm wUck I htm 
BMde in tlttft toIubm. No power but that of God* 
m I hikTO frofiMntly tbottg^ could ey^ have led 
IM in Mfety through ao mauy daugacs. 

1 «ouM not hare my readera imagiiie, howevei; 
that I had at that pariod any thought of making 
Imown my history to Uke world. I wished to 
flttnge into the dac^p^ poaaibleobacurky ; and next 
to the HMff of fidling again into the handa of the 
fiieftB and Superior, I ahrunk moat torn the idea 
of having othm aequamted wiik the acenes I had 
paaaed through. Such a thought n puUiahing 
nerer aoteved my mind till montha after that time. 
My deaire waa, that I might meet a speedy deadi in 
obacurity, and that my name koA my duune might 
periah on eaxth together. As fi» my fiitura doom, 
I atill looked forward to it with gloomy aj^reheo- 
aiona : for I conaictered myself aa almost, if not 
quite, removed beyond the reach of m^rcy. During 
all die time which had elapaed since I left the Con- 
^«Eit, I had ree^ved no religious instruetiDn, nor 
even read a word in the acripturea; and, theref<ME^ 
k ia not wondarfiil thi^ Ishould still have remained 
under the ctelaaiona in which I had been educated. 

The {da& arranged for the £ommenc«n«it of my 
journey waa this : I waa to croaa the 8t Lawrence 
to Longueil, to meet the man who waa to accom* 
ptny me. The woman who had sent my message 
into the country, went with me io the ferry, wad 
cresaed the river, where, according' to appointment, 
We found my compnnion. He willingly undertook 

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«&d 1^ ys own expenoe; but decUred, &al ke wts 
9;p{^ekgaamre we fifaoidd be punmed. To avcad die 
prieiU, wbe be supposed would follow xm, be took 
tn indirect hmte, uid duiing about twrive days, or 
%axfy ^at, tdiick we spei^ oa tl^ wily, passed 
ovMT a maeb greati^ distance than was necessary. 
ft would be needless, if it were posnble, to ment^ 
aU tbe |daces we Tisited. We crossed Carpenter's 
ferry, and were at Scotcb-moantain and St Alban*s ; . 
arrived at Obamplain by land, and tbere took ihe 
steamboat, leaving it agsdn at Burlington. 

As we were riding towards Cbarlotte, my c6ni« 
panioa entertained fears, wbieh, to me, appeared ri- 
^ulous : birt ft was im^possible for me to reason 
him out of them, or to hasten our journey. Cir^ 
cumstaxrces which appeared to me of no moment 
wkatever, would <^ien mfluence, and sometimei 
nmke kim ckange ids wkole plan and direction. 
As we were (me day approadiing Charlotte, for in^ 
stance, on inquiring of a petson on the way, whe&a 
there were any Canadians ^ere^ and being inform* 
^^re iCere not afew, and tlmtthere was a Roman 
CMmlic priest rq||dittg tfiere, he immecBately de- 
termined to avoid ^e place, and turned back, al» 
Plough we were then only about nine miles distant 
4fom it 

During several of the first nights after leaving 
Montreal, he stdEered greatly from fear; and on 
meeting me in the morning, repeatedly said : ^ W^ 
ihafikOodyWtaresafeso&rP' When we arrived 

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nt WbiteJuill, liejjftd an ideft tib^tjwre^Bhoulixwi p 
psk of ineetiog prints, who, hB tho^ht, w^e i|^ 
;i^rc}x of ufc if we went inuaediatdy onj^ e^ iqr 
insti^d that w^ had b^i stay there a little tim^ ua- 
til thi^ should ^ Y^ psBsedt; In ^pite^of my^mid^jf 
to^o^eed, we according remained th^e ahout^ 
we^k; wh^ we entered a canal-hoat t^ ffcqe^ U> 
Jroy. . , 

^ ^ unfortunate ,acci|fent happened to me while on 
ojar way. ^ I was. i^ the cabin, wl^en a gun^, which 
had been placed near me^ was started from to plax»^ 
by the motion of the boat, caused by another bosl 
rjimning against it, and striki^ me on my left side, 
threw me some distance. The shock was violent, 
and X thought myself iiyured, but hoped the effects 
w<»ild soon pass off. I w^s afterward tal^en with 
.vomiting blood; and. this alarmiug symptom several 
.times returned ; butj[ wfts able toi^ep^up. - . 
We came.yrithput any uunece^^sayy delay Jxorn 
Troy to New Yorkt where we arrived in thamqja^ 
4ng, either on Thursday oy Friday, aa I believ#: 
but my cqmpaipoja there disappeared without in* 
. forming P[ie, >vhere lie waa going, and X^saw h^jv) 
more. Being jnow, o^ X presum^ beyond the^re^ 
of my enemiee^ I f^t. relief from the fE^r;qf h^ixig 
. carried the npnnery, and aent^c^ to deelh 
or the cells : but I was in a large city wher^ l^i^ 
jaot |i iri^nd. Feeling, overwhelmed vith my mis- 
erable condition, I longed for death ; ,and yet I ft)( 
t^o desire to make another attempt to destroy myself 
, ,0n tl^e^conti^y, I (^er/nihe4 to Meliapmf aoli^ 

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tuy TC^tvit, moA await Ckxf a tnM to fUBote aM 
ft(mi a world in which I had found ao much tnm- 
Ue, hojnng and h^knrkig ^at il would not he long. 
Not knowing which way to go to find solitude, I 
spoke to a little hoy whom I saw on the wharf, and 
told him I would give him aome m<m^ if he would 
lead me into the **bu$h" (This is the c<»nmoB 
word hy which, in Canada, we speak oi the weoda 
or forests.) When he understood what I meant, 
be told me that there was no bush ahout New Tork ; 
but consented to lead me to the most lonely place he 
knew of. He accordingly set ofi) and I followed 
him, on a long walk to the upper part of the city, 
and beyond, until we reached the outskirts of it 
Turning off from the road, we gained a little hol- 
low, where were a few trees and bushes, a consid- 
erate distance fr<mi any house; and there, he told 
me, was the loneliest place with which he was ac- 
quainted. I paid him for his trouble (Hit of the 
small stock of money T had in my possession, and 
let him go home, desiring him to come the next day, 
and bring me something to eat, with a few pennies 
which I gave him. 

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. Mi^AcUicnf and sorroiM in 0qli^tide-'NigJU—F^Mr»Sx^ 
sure to rain — Discovered by strangers^ Thelf unwelcoms 
kindness^Taken to the BdUmie AVmafwwse, 

^ , Th¥1|ie I found myself oiice more alone, and 
.truly it was a great relief to sit down and feel that I 

. 5^fas out of the reach of priests and nuns, and in a 
uppt where I could patiently wait for death, when 

, Qpd mif ht please to send it, instead of being abused 
an4 tormented according to the caprices andpjas- 
sions of my persecutors. 

But th^n again returned mo9t bitter' anticipations 
of the future. Life had no attractioiis fo/me,fprat 
must be connected with shame; but death, under 
any circumstances, could not. be dive^ed of horrors, 
so long as I believed in the doctrine^ relating to it 
which h^d been inculcated uppft me. 

Th^e place wher^ I had taken up, as I supposed, 

, my last earthjy abode, \vas pleasant jn clear apd 
mild weather ; and I spent most of my time ii;., as 
much peace as the state of my n^ind would permit 
I saw houses, but no human beings, except on the 
side of a little hill near by, where were some men 
at work, making sounds like those made in ham- 
mering stone. The shade around me was so thick 
that I felt assured of being sufficiently protected 
from observation if I kept still ; and a cluster of 
bushes offered me a shelter for the night. As even- 

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^Wi WF?^^J^®4f I ^®^ agi^ewlwt alarmed by the 
^[souiKl of voices near me, and I found that a num- 
: ber of labourer? were passing that way from their 

worTc. I went ip a fright to the thickest of the 
V, bushes, and Jay down, until aU again was still, aid 

then ventured out to take my seat again on the turf. 
f ^ D^rknes^ now came gradually on [ and with it, 
'^ fears of another description. The thought struck 
^ me that there might be wild beasts in that neigh- 

bjourhood, ignorant as I then was of the country; 
J and the more I thought of it, the more I became 

alarmed. . I heard no alarming sound, it is true ; but 
. I knfjw not how spon som^ prowling and ferocious 
,, beast jqaight come upo|i nie in. my defenceless con- 
, ditipn, and tear nje in pieces. I refired to my 
Jbushes, ^nd stretched myself undei: them upon the 
ground:, but I found it impossible to sleep ; and my 

mind was abnost continually agitated by thoughts 
^ j8n the.fiJiture or the jiast. 

In the injorning the little boy made his appearance 
.ligaifl, and brought me a few cake^ which he h^d 

purchased for me. He showed much interest in me, 

inquired why 1 did not live in a house ; and it was 
;;,with difficulty that I could satisfy him to let me re- 
^ inain in my solitary and e^xposed condition. Under- 

fit^ding th^t I wished to continue ninknown, 
; /mred me that he h^d not told evfn, his mother ^bout 
„me| and I had rea;Spn: to belieye t^iat i^e faithfully 
^,kept my secret to the la^. Though he lived a ojn- 
. ^siderable dist^ee fr^iQ my hidin|j-p,lace,^|nd, as I 

supposed, far down in the city, he visited {gf ^1^^^ 

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creryday.erenirheB IhttA not desired !iuntelnr»f 
me any thing. Several times I rec^ved from him 
some small supplies of food for the money I had 
giTea him. I once gSTe him a half-dollar to get 
changed ; and he bronglA Bie hack erery penny of 
it, at his next risiu 

As I had got my drink from a hrook or pool, 
which was at no great distance, he brought me a 
little cup mie day to drink out of; but this I was 
not allowed to keep long, for he iM)on after told me 
that his mother wanted it, and he must return k 
He seTeral times arrived quite out of breath, and 
when I inquired the reason, calling him as I usually 
did, *' little Tommy," he said it was necessary hr 
him to run, and to stay but a short tune, that he 
might be at school in good season. Thus he con- 
tinued to serve me, and keep my secret, at great in- 
convenience to himself up to the last day of my 
stay in that retreat; and I believe he would have 
done so for three months if I had remained ^eie. 
I should like to see him again, and hear his broken 

I had now abundance of time to reflect on nqr 
lost condition ; and many a bitt^ thought passed 
through my mind, as I sat on the groumi, or strcdhd 
about by day, and lay under the bushes at night 

Sometimes I reflected on the doctrines I had 
heard at thenuiui^i concerning sins and paianees^ 
Pufgatory and HeU; and sometimeB on my tele 
companioM, sod Ae trimes I had witnessed in die 

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81BQ1TEL. U^ 

, , Sometimes I would sit and senously consider 
iipw I might best de^rojr my life ; and sometimes 
would, sing a few of the hymns with which I waiis 
familiar : but I never feh willing or disposed to pray, 
as I supposed there was no hope of mercy for me. 

One of the first nights I spent in that houseless 
condition was stormy; and though I crept imder 
'the thickest of the bushes, and had more protection 
against the rain than one might have expected, I 
:^as almost entirely wet before morning; and, it 
may be supposed, passed, a more uncomfortable 
night than usual. The next day I was happy to 
find the weather clear, and was able to dry my ^' 

^monts by taking off one at a time, and spreading 
,them oh the bushes.' A night or two after, how- 
everj I wag ag^h exposed to a heavy rain, and had 
tlie same process afterward to go through with : 
but what is remarkable, I took no cold on either oc- 
casion ; nor did 1 suffer any lasting injury from all 
the exposures I underwent in that platce. The in- 
conveniences I had to encounter, also, appeared to 

" me of little importance, not being sufficient to draw 
off my mind from its own troubles; and I had no 
intention of seeking a more comfortable abode, still 
looking forward only to dying as soon as God would 

^permit, alone and in that spot * 

One day, however, when I had been there abo^t 
ten days, I was alarmed, at seeing four men ap- 

' proftchitig ifie. All of them iiad guai^ as if oat on a 

"^ shooting excursion. They expressed much surprise 
gnd pity on fiadiogme-thea^and pressed me with 

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qaeitkms. I wotdd not gtf them any iatb&etory 
uccoaai of m3rsel( my wvnts, or inteotioBS^ being 
only mnxioos that th^ might withdraw. I hvaaA 
them, howeTer, too much interested to render me 
some servi^ to be easily sent away; and ator 
some time, thinking there would be no other way, 
I pretended to go away not to return. After going 
some distance, and remaining some time, thinking 
they had probably left the place, I returned ; but to 
my mortification found they had concealed them- 
selves to see whether I would come back. They 
now, more urgently than before, insisted on my re- 
moviug to some other place, where I might be com- 
fortable They continued to question me ; but 1 
became distreaied in a degree I cannot describe, 
hardly knowing what I did. At last 1 called ihp 
oldest gentleman aside, and told him something of 
my history. He expressed great interest for mew 
offered to take me anywhere I would tell bun, and 
at last insisted that I should go with him to his own 
house. All these ofters I refused ; <m which one 
proposed to take me to the Almshouse, and ^en to 
-carry roe by force if 1 would not go willingly. 

To this I at length consented ; but some deky 
took place, and I became unwilling, so that with 
reluctance I was taken to that instkutimi, which 
was about half a mile distant* 

• 8Mtk«siBd«vitofllr. HiUimvtNeiMS. The kitir «e 
wbidi b# r^ra I had fiwgotten to anentioii. It eoatiined « 
short account of the crimes I had witnessed in the nimneiy, 
•nd wan wHtttn SB paper whish **ltiiial^aauiiy^ had boiNlht 

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«i«w— A* eUdmft jgrojMtWwu» and Our§at9 ^Jfr. KM/* 

I VAS now at aacm soaAe eomfiyrlable» «id itft«ii4 
•d with kindneM and care. It is not to be expeel 
cd in aoch a place, where so many poor and auffet 
ing pep]de are collected, and duties of a difficuh 
itttttfie are to he daily performed by those engaged 
in the care of the institutimi, that petty rexationa 
should not occur to inditidnala of all descriptiona. 

But in spke of all, I received kindness and sym- 
pathy from several p^sons around me, to whom I 

I was abmdkig one (hiy Jtt the window of the 
room numb^ tweoty^siz, which is i^ the end of the 
hospital building, when I saw a spot I once visited 
in a little walk I took ironr my hiding-place. My 
feelings were difierent now in some re^Mcts, from 
what they had been; for, though I sufiered muck 
from ray fears of foteure punishmeiit, for die sin of 
breaking my Convei^ vows, I had gtven up the m- 
tantion of destroyu^ my life^ 

After t had been some time in the Institution, I 
feund it wa^ imported by iome about me, that I was 
a fiigiuve nun; and it was not kmg after, Aat im 

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Iriali TmnaB, bdongija^ to the iottkulioB, hrouf bt 
me a secret message, which caused me some agita* 

I was sitting in the room of Mrs. Johnson, the 
matron, engaged in sewing, when th^t Irish wpma;o, 
eifnployed ip the institution, cam^ in .aod, ^ti me 
that Mr. Cd&roy was b«low« and had simt to se&me. 
I was informed that he was a Roman priest, Who 
often visited the house, and he had a particular wish 
to Be6 m^ at that time ; having come, as I" believe, 
expressly for that purpose. 1 showed unwillingness 
to comply with such an' invitation,' and' did not go. 
The woman told niefetther, that he sent' me word 
that I need ttotthink to avoid him^ forit wotild 'be 
Impossible for me to do so. I might conceal mys^ 
as well as I cotfld,but I should be found and taken. 
No matter whisre I went, ot what hiding-place I 
might choose, I should be known ; and I had better 
come at once. He knew who I was ; and he was 
•ttthbrizfed to take me to the Sisters of Charity, If I 
Should prefer to join them. He would promise that 
I mighf stay 'with them if 1 chose, and be permitted 
to remain in New T6rk: 'He seAt me word fur- 
ther, thJat he had' r^cdved fhll power and authority 
&reT me from th^ Superior of the Hotel Dieti Nun- 
fiery 'of Montreal, and wals able to do all that she 
c^uld do^ US her right to dispose of tne at her will 
had been imparted to him by a regular writing re^ 
^ived from Canada. This was alarming informar 
^n for me, in the weakness in which I was at that 
tfme. * The wdman ^dded, that the same authority 

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€£Q1TBL. i39 

had been given to all the priests ; so that, go where 
I might, I should meet men infonned about me and 
my escape, and folly empowered to seize me wher- 
ever they could, and convey me back to the Convent, 
from which I had escaped 

Under these circumstances, it seemed to me that 
the ofier to place me among the Sisters of Charity, 
with permission to remain in New York, was mild 
and favourable. However, I had resolution enough 
to refuse to see the priest Conroy. 

Not long afterward, I was informed by the same 
messenger, that the priest was again in the building, . 
and repeated his request. I desired one of the gen- 
tlemen connected with the institution, that a stop 
might be put to such messages, as I wished to re- 
ceive no more of them. A short time after, how- 
ever, the woman told me that Mr. Conroy wished 
to inquire of me, whether my name was not St. Eus- 
tace while a nun, and if I had not confessed to Priest 
Kelly in Montreal. I answered, that it was all true ; 
for I had confessed to him a short time while in the 
nunnery. I was then told again that the priest 
wanted to see me, and I sent back word that I would 
see him in the presence of Mr. Tappan, or Mr. 
Sevens ; which, however, was not agreed to ; and 
I was afterward informed, that Mr. Conroy, the 
Roman priest, spent an hour in a room and a pas- 
sage where I had frequently been ; but through the 
mercy of CJod, i was employed in another place at 
that time, and had no occasion to go where I should 
hive met him. I afti»rward repeatedly heard, that 

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1^. Conroy continued to visit the Jbouse, and to ask 
for me ; but I never saw iiim. I once had deter- 
mined to leave the institution, and go to the Sisters 
of Charity ; but circumstances occurred which gave 
me time for further reflection; and I was saved 
from the destruction to which I should have been 

As the period of my accouchement approached, I 
sometimes thought that I should not survive it ; and 
then the recollection of the dreadful crimes I had 
witnessed in the nunnery would come upon me 
very powerfully, and I would think it a solemn 
duty to disclose them before I died. To have a 
knowledge of those things, and leave the world 
without making them known, appeared to me like a 
great sin : whenever I could divest myself o{ the 
impression made upon me, by the declarations and 
arguments of the Superior^ nuns, and priests, of the 
duty of submitting to every thing, and the necessary 
holiness of whatever the ktter did or required. 

The evening but one before the period which I 
anticipated with so much anxiety, I was sitting 
alone, and began to indulge in reflections of this 
kind. It seemed to me that I must be near the 
close of my life, and I determined to make a disclo- 
sure at once* I spoke to Mrs. Ford, a woman 
whose character I respected, a nurse in the hospital, 
in number twenty-three. I informed her that I had 
no expectation, of living long, and had some things 
on my mind which I wished to communicate before 
It ahould be too late. I added, that I should prefer 

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Uf tell them to Mr. Tappaii, the cfaaplaiB, of wMoh 
she approved, as she considered it a duty to do so 
UDder those circumstances. 1 had no opportunity, 
however, to converse with Mr. T. at that time, and 
probably my purpose, of disclosing the facts already 
given in this book, would never have been exectitP4] 
but for what subsequently took place. 

It was alarm which had led me to form such a 
determination ; and when the period of trial had 
been safely passed, and I had a prospect of recov* 
ery, any thing appeared to me more likely than 
that I should make this exposure. 

I was then a Roman Catholic, at least a great 
part of my time ; and my conduct, in a great mea- 
sure, was according to the faith and motivee of a 
Roman Catholic. Notwithstanding what I knew 
of the conduct of so many of the priests and nuns, I 
thought that it had no e£^t on the sanctity of the 
Church, or the authority or effects of the acts per- 
formed by the former at the mass, confession, &c. 
I had such a regard for my vows as a nun, that I 
considered my hand as well as my heart irrevoca 
bly given to Jesus Christ, and could never have al 
lowed any person to take it. Indeed, to this day, I 
feel an instinctive aversion to oflTering my hand, or 
taking the hand of another person, even as an ex- 
pression of friendship. I also thought that I might 
soon return to the Catholics, although fear and dis-^ 
gust held me back. I had now that infant to think 
for, whose life I had happily saved by my timely 
escape from the nunnery ; and what its fiite might 

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be» ia eaae it abcmld ever Ml into the po¥PW of ibe 
priests, I codd not tell. 

I had, howerer^ reason for alarm. Would a 
child destined to destruction, like the inftints I had 
seen baptized and smothered, be allowed to go 
through the world unmolested, a living memorial 
of the truth of crimes hmg practised in security, be- 
cause nev^ exposed 1 What pledges could I get 
to satisfy me, that I, on whom her dependance must 
be, would be spared by those who I had reason to 
think were then wishing to sacrifice met How 
could I trust the helpless in&nt in hands which had 
hastened the baptisn of many such, in order to hur- 
ry them to the secret pit in the ceQar? Could I 
suf^ose that Father Phelan, Priest of the Pariik 
Church of Montreal, would see his own ehUd grow- 
ing up in the world, and feel willing to run the ri^ 
of having the truth exposed ? What could I expect^ 
e^)ecially from him, but the utmost rancour, and t^ 
most determined enmity against the innocent child 
and its abused and de^celess mother ? 

Yet, my mind would sometimes still incline ia 
the opposke direction, and indulge the thought, thai 
perhaps the only way to secure heaven to us botbt 
was to throw ourselves back into the hands of the 
Church, to be treated as she pleased. Wh^, th^e- 
fore, the fear of immediate death was removed, I 
roiomiced all thoughts of comnmnicating the sub- 
stance cf the &cts in this volume. It happened, 
however, that my danger was not passed. I was 

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Men Seised wfih very aknmiifsyiiqttoms; thtftmjr 
detire to disclose ifiy story revived. 

I had before h&d an opportanity to speak in pri- 
yate with the chaplain ; but, 'as it was at a time 
when I supposed myself out of danger, I had ^efet' 
red for three days my proposed cofnmunieatioB, 
thinking that I might yet avoid it altogether. When 
my symptoms, "however, became more alarming, I 
was anxious for Saturday to arrive, the day which 
I had appointed ; and when I had not the opportu- 
nity on that day, which I desired, I thought it migfbt 
be too late. I did not see him till Monday, when 
my prospects of surviving were very gloomy ; and 
I then informed him that I wished to communicate 
to him a few secrets, which were likely otherwise 
to die with me. I then told him, that while a nun 
m the Convent of Montreal, I had witnessed the 
murder of a nun, called Saint Francis, and of at 
least one of the infants which I have spoken of in 
this book. I added some few circumstances, and I 
believe disclosed, in 'general terms, some of the other 
crimes I knew of in that nunnery. 

My anticipations of death proved to be unfounded ; 
for my health afterward improved, and had I not 
made the confessions on that occasion, it is very 
possible I never might have made them. I, how- 
ever, afterward, felt more willing to listen to instruc- 
tion, and experienced friendly attentions from some 
<if the benevolent persons' around me, who, taking 
an interest in me on account of my darkened un- 

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j^ntanding^ furaiahed me with the BHde, w»im«m 
^TCT ready to counsel me when I desired it 

I soon began to bdieve that Goi migkA have in- 
t^^ded that his creatures should learn his will by 
reading his word, and taking upon th^oa the free 
exercise of their reason, and acting under respiHi- 
sibility to him. 

It is difficult for one who has never g^ven way to 
such arguments and influences as those to which 
I had been exposed, to realize how hard it is to 
^ink aright a^r thinking wrong. The Scriptures 
always affect me powerfully when I read th^n ; hut 
I feel tiiat I have but just begun to learn the great 
truths, in which I ought to have been early and 
thoroughly instructed. I realize, in some degree, 
how iris, that the Scriptures render the people of 
the United States so strongly oj^posed to such doc* 
^nes as are taught in the Black and the Congre- 
gational Nunneries of Montreal. The priests and 
nuns used often to declare, that of all heretics, the 
children from the United States^ were the most diffi" 
cult to be converted; and it was thought a great 
triumph when one of them was brought over to " the 
true £uth.'' The first passage of Scripture that 
made any serious impression upon my mind, was 
the text on which the chaplain preached on the Sab- 
bath after my introduction into' the house — ^^ Search 
the Scriptures." 

I made some hasty notes of the thoughts to which 
it gave rise in my mind, and often recurred to the 
sttljeet. Tet I sometunes questkmed the justioe of 

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die views I begmi to eatertaio, and wal ready to 
condemn myedf for giTing my mind any liberty to 
aeek for information concemiiig the foundations of 
my former foith. 

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PraptmHon to goto Montreal and tettify against tiie frUttt-^ 
CommencemerU qf my journey— Stop at TVoy, WhUthaU^ 
Burlington, St. Albania, Plattsburgh, and St, John**— Ar- 
rival at Montreal— ReJUctiont on parsing the Nunneryt &^ 

About a fortnight afler I had made the disclo- 
sures mentioned in the last chapter, Mr. Hoyt called 
at the Hospital to make inquiries about me. I was 
introduced to him by Mr. Tappan. After some con- 
versatioD^ he asked me if I would consent to visit 
Montreal, and give my evidence against the priests 
and nuns before a court. I immediately expressed 
my willingness to do so, on condition that I should 
be protected. It immediately occurred to me, that 
I might enter the nunnery at night, and bring out 
the nuns in the cells, and possibly Jane Ray, and 
that they would confirm my testimony. In a short 
time, arrangements were made for our journey, I 
was furnished with clothes; and although my 
strength was as yet but partially restored, I set off 
in pretty good spirits. 

Our journey was delayed for a little time, by Mr. 
Hoyt's waiting to get a companion. He had en- 
gaged a clergyman to accompany us, as I under* 
stood, who was prevented from going by unexpect- 
ed business. We went to Troy in a steamboat; 
and, while there, I had several interviews with 
some gentlemem who w%f informed of my history, 

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^■dwiatiadteseeBiB. Tkejiq^tearedto bede^ly 
impressed wkh the impoitajace of my testimony^ 
and on their reeomm^sdation it was detenaiiied that 
w6 ishovHd go to St Alban's, on Our way to Ma&* 
Ureal, to get a gentleman to accompany us, whose 
adrice and assistance, as an experienced lawyer^ 
were thought to he desirahle to us in prosecuting 
the plan we had m view : viz. the exposure of the 
crimes with which I was acquainted. 

We travelled from Troy to Whitehall in a canal 
packet, because the easy motion was best adapted 
to my state of health. We met on board the Rev. 
Bfr. Sprague of New York, with whom Mr. Hoyt 
was acquainted, and whom he tried to persuade to 
accompany us to Montreal. From Whitehall to 
Burlington we proceeded in a steamboat; and there 
I was so much indisposed, that it was necessary to 
call a physician. After a little rest, we set off in 
the stage for St. Alban's ; and on arriving, found 
that Judge Turner was out of town. We had to 
remain a day or two b^ore he returned ; and then 
he said it would be impossible for him to accompa- 
ny us. AHer some deliberation, it was decided 
that Mr. Hunt should go to Montreal with us, and 
that Judge Turner should follow and join us there 
as soon as his health and business would permit* 

We therefore crossed the lake l^ the ferry to 
f%Utsburgh, where, after some delay, we embarked 

* Bfr. Hunt was recommended ae a highly respectable law- 
yer ; to whose kindness, as well as that of Judge Tomer, I M 
myself under obligatSons. 

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398 Apmimx. 

in ft vteamtxMit, which took us to St Joim's. Bfr. 
Hunt, who bad nfot reached the ferry ^rly enough 
to cross with us, had proceeded on to • ♦ *^, and 
there got on board the steamboat in the night. We 
went on to Laprairie with little delay, but finding 
that no boat was to cross the St Lawrence at that 
place during the day, we had to take another pri- 
vate carriage to Longueil, whence we were rowed 
across to Montreal by three men, in a small boat.- 
I had felt quite bold and resolute when I first 
consented to go to Montreal, and also during my 
journey : but when I stepped on shore in the city, I 
thought of the different scenes I had witnessed there, 
and of the risks I might run before I should leave 
it. We got into a caleche, and rode along towarde 
thfe hotel where we were to stop. We passed up 
St. Paul's street ; and, although it was dusk, I re- 
cognised every thing I had known. We caftte tit 
length to the nunnery ; and then many recollections 
crowded upon me. First, I saw a window from 
which I had sometimes looked at some of the dis- 
tant houses in that street ; and I wondered whether 
some of my old acquaintances were employed a» 
■ formerly. But I thought that if I were once with- 
in those walls, I should soon be in the cells for 
the remaindcfr of my life, or perhaps be condemned 
to something still more severe. I remembered the 
murder of St. Francis, and the whole scene returned 
to me as if it had just taken place ; the appearance, 
language, and conduct pf the persons roost active in 
her destruction. Those persons were now all tiaar 

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»MF9W ' ~ 299 

mb 4^d would use all exe^ionstbey safely might, 
ta get me again into theix pctwer. 

And certainly they had greate^r reason to be ex- 
asperated against me, than ag^ij^ that poor help^ 
less non, who had only expressed a wish to es- 

When I &uBd myself safely in Goodenough^s 
hotel, in a retired room, and began to. think alone, 
the roost gloomy apprehensions filled my mind. I 
could not eat, I had no appetite, and I did not sleep 

• My gloomy feelings however did not always i^reTaiL I had 
Jk>pe8 of obtaining evidence to prove my charges. I proposed 
to my companions to be allowed to proceed that evening to ex- 
ecute the plan I had f(Srmed when a journey to Montreal had 
firs« been mentioned. This was, to follow the physician into 
the nunnery, conceal myself under the red calico sofa in the 
sitting-room, find my way into the cellar after all was still, re- 
lease the nuns from their cdls, and bring them out to confi^ 
my testimony* I was aware that there were bayards of my not 
succeeding, and that I must forfeit my life if detected— but I 
was desperate ; and feeling as if I could not long live in Mon- 
treal, thought I might as well die one way as another, and that 
I had better die in the performance of a good deed. I thought 
of attempting to bring out Jane Ray— but that seemed quite out 
of the question, as an old nun is commonly engaged in cleaning 
a community-room, through which I should have to pass ; and 
how could I ho^e to get into, and out of the sleeping-room un- 
observed? I could not even determine that the imprisoned 
nuns would follow me out— for they might be afraid to trust 
me. However, I determined to try, and presuming my com- 
panions had all along understood and approved my pkn, told 
them I was ready to go at once. I was chagrined and mortified 
more than I can express, when they objected, and almost re- 
fused to permit me. I insisted and urged the importance of the 
step— but they represented its extreme rashness. This conduct 
of theirs, for a time diminished my confidence in them, although 
everybody else has sppmved •fit. 

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900 JkpPUMMx, 

all tdf^t Eirery paittfb] scofte I baA eftir 
throogh, aeemed to leiurn to my mind \ And ^lek 
wad my agiCitioD, I could fix my thoughts .upon 
nothing in pardeuki. I had left New York vjben 
tfaeitateof my health wa«&r from b^ngeetahHshad; 
. and my Bttength, as may be presumed, was now 
much reduced by the fetigue of travelling. I i^all 
be able to give but a faint idea of the feelings with 
which I passed that night, but must leave it to the 
imagination of my readers. Now once^iore ill the 
neighbourhood of the Convent, and surrounded, by 
the nuns and priests, of whose conduct I had made 
the first disclosures ever made, surroimded by thou- 
sands of persons devoted to them, and ready to plro- 
ceed to any outrage, as I feared, whenever their in- 
terference might be desired, there was abundant rea- 
BCfn jfbr my uneasiness. 

I now began to realize that I had some attach- 
m^t to life remaining. When I consented to visit 
the city, and iiirnish the evidence necessary to lay 
open the iniquity of the Convent, I had felt, in a 
measure, indififerent to life: but now, when tortute 
and death seemed at hand, I shrunk from il For 
myself, life could not be said to be of much value. 
How could I be happy with such things to reflect 
upon as I had passed through ? and how could I 
enter society witid gratification ? But my inftnt I 
could not abandon, for who would care for it if its 
mother died ? 

I was left alone id the morning by the gentlemea 
who had accompanied me, as they went to take im- 

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mediate measures to open the intended investigation. 
Being alone, I thought of my own position in every 
point of view, until I became more agitated than 
ever. I tried to think what persons I might safely 
apply to as friends ; and, though still undecided 
what to do, I arose, thinking it would be unsafe to* 
r^oiain any longer exposed, as I imagined myself 
to be known and seized by my enemies. 

I went from the hotel,* hurried along, feeling as 
if I were on my way to some asylum, and thinking- 
I would first go to the house where I had severat 
times previously found a temporary refuge. I did 
not stop to reflect that the woman was a devoted 
Catholic and friend to the Superior ; but thought 
only of hi^ kindness to me on former occasions, and 
hastened along N6tTe Dame street. But I was ap- 
proaching the Seminary; and a resolution vms 
suddenly formed to go and ask the pardon and in- 
tercession of the Superior. Then the character of 
Bis^p Lartique seemed to present an impassible 
obstacle; and the disagreeable aspect and harsh 
Todce of the manias I recalled him, struck me with 
horror. I recollected him as I had known him 
wh^ engaged in scenes concealed from the eye of 

* Itocenrred to me, that I might have heen seen by some 
person on landing, who might reco^ise me if I appeared in 
the streets in the same dress; and I requested one of thefemide 
servants to lend me some of hers. I obtained a hat and shawl 
from her» with which I left the house. When I fyund myself 
in Nfttre Dame street, I felt the utihost indecision what to do» 
and the thought of my friendless coB^tion almost overpower- 
ed me. 


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the world. The thought of him made me decide 
not to enter the Seminary. I hurried, therefore, hy 
the door ; and the great church being at hand, my 
next thought was to enter there. I reached the 
steps, walked in, dipped my finger into the holy 
water, crossed myselJ^ turned to the first image £ 
saw, which was that of Saint Magdelen, threw my- ' 
self upon my knees, and began to repeat prayers 
with the utmost fervour. 1 am certain that I never 
felt a greater desire to find relief from any of the 
Saints ; but my agitation hardly seemed to subside 
during my exercise, which continued, perhaps, a 
quarter of an hour or more. I then rose from my 
knees, and placed myself under the protection of 
St. Magdelen and St. Peter by these words : " 3e me 
mets sous vdtre protections^ --^l place myself under 
your protection ;) and added, " Sainte Marie, mere 
du bon pasteur, prie pour ww**'— (Holy Mary, 
mother of the good shepherd, pray for me.) 

I then resolved to call once more at the "house 
where I had found a retreat after my escape firom 
the nunnery, and proceeded along the streets in that 
direction. On my way, I had to pass a shop kept 
by a woman* I formerly had an acquaintance with. 
She happened to see me passing, and immediately 
said, " Maria, is that you? Come in." 

I entered, and she soon proposed to me to let her 
go and tell my mother that I had returned to the 
city. To this I objected. I went with her, how- 

* This was Mrs. Tarbert 

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ssairsL. 303 

ever, to the house of one of her acquaintances near 
by, where I remained some time, during which she 
went to my mother's, and came with a request from 
her, that I would have an interview with her, pro- 
posing to come up and see me, and saying that she 
had something very particular to say to me. What 
this was, I could not with any certainty conjecture. 
I had my suspicions that it might be something 
irom the priests, designed to get me back into their 
power, or, at least, to suppress my testimony. 

I felt an extreme repugnance to seeing my 
mother, and in the distressing state of apprehension 
and uncertainty in which I was, could determine on 
nothing, except to avoid her. I therefore soon left 
the house, and walked on without any particular 
object The weather was then very unpleasant, and 
it was raining incessantly. To this I was very in- 
different, and walked on till I had got through the 
suburbs, and found myself beyond the windmills. 
Then I returned, and passed back through the city, 
still not recognised by anybody. 

I once saw one of my brothers, unless I was 
much mistaken, and thought he knew me. If it 
was he, I am confident he avoided me, and that was 
my belief at the time, as he went into a yard with 
the appearance of much agitation. I continued to 
walk up and do3?^ most of the day, fearful of stop- 
ping anywhere, lest I should be recognised by my 
enemies, or betrayed into their power. I felt all tho 
distress of a feeble, terrified woman, in need of pro- 
tection, and, as I thought, without a friend in whom. 

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304 APfBNmx. 

I could safely confide. It distressed me exttemely 
to think of my poor babe; and I had now been so 
long absent from it, as necessarily to suffer much 

I recollected to have been told, in the New York 
Hospital, that laudanum would relieve distress both 
bodily and mental, by a woman who had urged m^ 
to make trial of dt. In my despair, I resolved tc^ 
make an experiment with it, and entering an apotli^ 
ecar/s shop, asked for some. The apothecary re- 
fused to give me any; but an old man who was 
there, told me to come in, inquired where I had been» 
and what was the matter with me, seeing that I was 
quite wet through. I let him know that I had an 
Infant, and on his urging me to tell more, I told hinr> 
where my mother lived. He went out, and soon 
alter returned, accompanied by my mother, who 
told me she had my child at home, and pressed me 
to go to her house and see it, saying she would not 
insist on my entering, but would bring it out to me. 

I consented to accompany her ; but on reaching 
the door, she began to urge me to go in, saying I 
should not be known to the rest of the ftmily, but 
might stay there in perfect privacy. I was resolved 
not to comply with this request, and resisted all her 
^treaties, though she continued to urge me for a 
long time, perhaps half an hour. At length she went 
in, and I walked away, in a state no less desperate 
than before. Indeed, night was now approaching, 
the rain continued, and I had no prospect of food, 
jest, or even shelter. I w^t on till I reached the 

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6£<IV£L. 305 

parade-ground, unnoticed, I believe, by anybody, 
except one man, who asked where I was going, but 
to whom I gave no answer. I had told my mother, 
before she left me, that she might find me in the 
parade-ground. There I stopped, in a part of the 
open ground where there was no probability of my 
being observed, and stood thinking of the many dis- 
tressing things which harassed me ; suffering, in- 
deed, from exposure to wet and cold, but indifferent 
to them as evils of mere trifling importance, and 
expecting that death would socm ease me of my 
present sufferings. I had hoped that my mother 
would bring my babe to me there ; but as it was 
growing kte, I gave up all expectation of seeing 

At length she came, accompanied by Mr. Hojrt, 
who, as I afterward learnt, had called on her after 
my leaving the hotel, and, at her request, had in- 
trusted my child to her care. Calling again after 
I had left her house, she had informed him that she 
now knew where I was, and consiented to lead him 
to the spot, i was hardly able to speak or to walk, 
in consequence of the hardships I had undergone ; 
but being taken to a small inn, and put under the 
care of several women, I was made comfortable 
with a change of clothes and a warm bed* 

* I afterward learnt, that the two gentlemen who aceompa> 
Died me from the States, had been seeking me with great anx- 
iety all day. I persisted in not going to my mother's, and that 
was the reason why we applied to strangers for a lodging. For 
some time it appeared doubtful whether I should find any refuge 


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£>r the night, as several small inns in the ndghbourhood prored 
to be full. At lotigtb, however, lodgings were obtained for me 
in one, and I experienced kindness from the females of the 
house, who put me into a warm bed, and by careful treatment 
soon rendered me more comfortable. 1 thought I heard the 
voice of a woman, in the course of the evening, whom I had 
seen about the nunnery, and ascertained that I was not mis- 

I forgot to me&tion, when writing the " Sequel," that, while 
prepaiing to leave this house the next day, Mrs. Tarbert came 
in and spoke with me. She said, that she had just come from 
the government-house, and asked, " What are all those men at 
your mother's for 1 what b going on there V* I told her I could 
not telL She said, " Tour mother wants to speak with you 
very much.'' I told her I would not go to her house, for I 
feared there was some plan to get me into the hands of the 

The inn in which I was, is one near the government-house, 
in a block owned by the Baroness de Montenac, or the Baroness 
'de Longeuil, her daughter. I think it must be a respectable 
house, in spite of what Mrs. Tarbert says m her affidavit Mrs. 
Tarbert is the woman spoken of several times in the " Sequel," 
without being named ; as I did not know how to spell her name 
till her affidavit came out 

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Received into a hoapitabU family— Fluctuating /eeling9—Vi- 
aits from several persons— Paffur Phelan*s declarationa 
against me in kis churck— Interviews with a Journeyman 
Ca/rpentei^Arguments with him. 

In the morning I received an invitation to go to 
she house of a i^espectable Protestant, an old inhabi- 
H|ant of the city, who had been informed of my situ- 
ation ; and although I felt hardly able to move, I 
>proceeded thither in a cariole, and was received 
with a degree of kindness, and treated with such 
«are, that I must ever retun a lively gratitude to- 
Tvards the family. 

On Saturday I had a visit from Dr. Robertson, to 
whose house I had been taken soon after my rescue 
^om drowning. He put a few questions to me, and 
csoon withdrew. 

On Monday, after the close of mass, a Canadian 
man cai|ie in, and entered into conversation with 
^the master of the house in an adjoining room. He 
was, as I understood, a journeyman carpenter, and a 
Catholic, and having heard that a fugitive nun wa^ 
.somewhere in the city, began to speak on the sub- 
ject in French. I was soon informed that Father 
Phalan had just addressed his congregation with 
^oixtdh apparent excitement about myself; and thus 
the carpenter had received his information. Father 
Phel in's words, according to what I heard said by 

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numerous witnesses at different times, must have 
been much like the following : — 

** There is a certain nun now in this city, who 
has left our ftiith, and joined the Protestants. She 
has a child, of which she is ready to swear I am 
the father. She would be glad in this way to take 
away my gown from me. If I knew where to find 
her, I would put her in prison. I mention this to 
guard you against being deceived by what she may 
say. The devil has such a hold upon people now- 
a-days, that there is danger that some might believe 
her story," 

Before he concluded his speech, as was declared, 
he burst into tears, and appeared to be quite over- 
come. When the congregation had been dismissed, 
a number of them came round him, and he told 
some of them, that I was Antichrist ; I was not a hu- 
man being, as he was convinced, but an evil spirit, 
who had got among the Catholics, and been admit- 
ted into the nunnery, where I had learnt the rules 
so that I could repeat them. My appearance, he de- 
clared, was a fulfilment of prophecy, as Antichrist is 
foretold to be coming, in order to break down, if 
possible, the Catholic religion. 

The journeyman carpenter had entered the house 
where I lodged under these impressions, and had 
conversed some time on the subject, without any 
suspicion that I was near. After he had railed 
against me with much violence, as I afterward 
learned, the master of the house informed him that 
he knew something of the nun, and mentioned that 

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43BaiTEL. 309 

mhe charged the prieEds of the Semmary with crime? 
<if an awfiil ^haracter^ in reply to which the carpen- 
ter expressed the greatest disbelief. 

" You can satisfy yourself" said the master of the 
house, " if you will take the trouble to step up stairs : 
lor she lives in my fiunily." 

" I see her !" he exclaimed — ** No, I would not 
see the wretched creature for any thing. I wonder 
you are not afraid to have her in your house— Sh^ 
will bewitch you all — The evil spirit!" 

After some persuasion, however, he came into the 
room where I was sitting, but looked at me with 
every appearance ot dread and curiosity ; and his 
exclamations, and subsequent conversation, in Ca- 
nadian French, were very ludicrous. 

" Eh bin," he began on first seeing me, " c*est ici 
la malheureuse ?" [Well, is this the poor crea- 
ture ?] But he stood at a distance, and looked at 
me with curiosity and evident fear. I asked him 
to sit down, and tried to make him feel at his ease, 
by speaking in a mild and pleasant tone. He soon 
became so &r master of himself, as to enter into con- 

•« I understood," said he, ** that she has said very 
hard things against the priests. How can that be 
true?" " I can easily convince you," said I, "that 
they do what they ought not, and commit crimes of 
the kind I complain of. You are married, I suppose?'* 
He assented. •• You confessed, I presume, on the 
morning of your wedding-day ?" He acknowledg- 
ed that he did, •* Then did not the priest tell yott 

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at confession, that he had had intercourse with your 
intended bride, but that it was for her sanctification, 
and that you must never reproach her with it?'' 

This question instantly excited him, but he did 
not hesitate a moment to answer it ** Yes,'* replied 
he; **and that looks black enough." I had put 
the question to him, because I knew the practice to 
which I alluded had prevailed at St Denis while I 
was there, and believed it to be universal, or at least 
very common in all the Catholic parishes of Cana- 
da. I thought I had reason to presume, that every 
Catholic, married in Canada, had had such expe- 
rience, and that an allusion to the conduct of the 
priest in this particular, must compel any of them 
to admit that my declarations were far from being 
incredible. This was the effect on the mind of the 
simple mechanic ; and from that moment he made 
no more serious questions concerning my truth and 
sincerity, during that interview. 

Further conversation ensued, in the course of 
which I expressed the willingness which I have often 
declared, to go into the Convent and point out things 
which would confirm, to any doubting person, the 
truth of my heaviest accusations against the priests 
anii nuns. At length he withdrew, and afterward 
entered, saying that he had been to the Convent to 
make inquiries concerning me. He assured me 
that he had been told that although I had once be- 
longed to the nunnery, I was called St. Jacques, and 
not St Eustace ; and that now they would not own 
or recognise me. Then he began to curse me, but 

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SSatEL. 311 

yet sat down, as if disposed for further conversation. 
It seemed as if he was affected by the most contrary 
feeliags, and in rapid succession. One of the things 
he said, was to persuade me to leave Montreal. ** t 
advise you," said he, **to go away to-morrow." I 
replied that I was in no haste, and might stay a 
month longer. 

Then he fell to cursing me once more : but the 
next moment broke out against the priests, calling 
them all the names he could think of His passion 
became so high against them, that he soon began to 
rub himself, as the low Canadians, who are apt to 
be very passionate, sometimes do, to calm their feel- 
ings, when they are excited to a painful degree. 
After this explosion he again became quite tranquil, 
and turning to me in a frank and friendly manner 
said: **I will help j^n in your measures against 
the priests : but tell me, first — ^you are going to print 
a book, are you not?" " No," said I, " I have no 
thoughts of that" 

Then he left the house again, and soon returned, 
saying he had been at the Seminary, and seen a per- 
son who had knovm me in the nunnery, and said 
I had been only a novice, and that he would not ac- 
knowledge me now. I sent back word by him, that 
I would show one spot in the nunnery that would 
prove I spoke the truth. Thus he continued to go 
and return several times, sapng something of the 
kind every time, until I becme tired of him. He 
was so much enraged once or twice during some of 
the interviews, that I felt somewhat alarmed; and 

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812 APPXffDiX. 

some of the fiumly heard him swearing as he weat 
down atairs : ** Ah, sacre — that is too black I" 

He came at last, dressed up likea gentlemaji, and 
told me he was ready to wait on me to thenmmery. 
I expressed my surprise that he should expect me 
to go with him alone, and told him I had never 
thought of going without some protector, still assur- 
ing, that with any person to secure my return, I 
would cheerfully go all over the nunnery, and show 
Bufficient evidence of the truth of what I alleged. 

My fieelings continued to vary: I was sometimes 
feariUl, and sometimes so courageous as to think se- 
riously of going into the Recolet church during 
mass, with my child in my arms, and calling upon 
the priest to own it And this I am confident I 
should have done, but for the persuasions used to 
prevent me.* 

* I did not make up my mifid, (so far as I remember,) pub- 
licly to proclaim who was the father of my child, unless re* 
qiiired to do so, until I learnt that Father Phelan had denied it 

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4 MUkmanr-An iriahwoman— 'Difficulty in having my AJU' 
davU taken — Legal objection to it when taken. 

Anothe;r person who expressed a strong wish 
to see me, was an Irish milkmaq. He had heard, 
what seemed to have been pretty generally reported, 
that I blamed none but the Irish priests. He put 
the question, whether it ws^s a fact that I accused 
nobody but Father Phelan. I told him it was not 
t^; and this pleased him so well, that he told me if 
I would stay in Montreal, I should have milk for 
myself and my child as long as I lived. It is well 
known that strong antipathies have long existed be- 
tjveen French and Irish Catholics in that city. 

The next day the poor Jrishman returned, but in 
a very different state of mind. He was present at 
church in the morning, he said, when Father Phe- 
lan told the congregation that the nun of whom he 
had spoken Ibefore, had gone to court and accused 
.him; and that he, by the power he possessed, haa 
struck her powerless as she stood before the judge, 
80 that she sunk helpless on (he floor. He express- 
ed, by the motion of his hands, the unresisting man- 
n^ in which she had sunk under the mysterious 
influ^ce, and declared that she would have died on 
the spot, but that he had chosen to kec^ her alive that 
she might retract her false accusation. This, he 
Mid, sh© did, most humblv^ before the court, ac . 

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314 , : ■ ' * APPKNmx. 

knowledging that she had been paicT « hundr^ 
* jx)tinds''as a bribe. * 

The first words of the poor milkman, <3n revok- 
ing me, therefore, were like these : " That*s to show 
you what power the priest has ! DidnH he give it to 
you in the court ? It is to be hoped you will leave 
,. the city now." He then stated what he had heard 
Father Phelan say, and expressed his entire convic- 
tion of its iruth, and the extreme joy he felt on disco- 
vering, as hesupposed he h^,that hie own priest was 
' innocent^ and had gained such a triumph over me. 

A talkative Irish woman also made her appear- 
«- ance, among those who called at the house, and ur- 
ged for permission to see me. Said she, " I have 
heard dreadful things are told by a nun you have 
here, against the priests ; and I have to convince 
my^lf of the truth. I want to see the nun you have 
got in your house." When informed that I wte im- 
well, and not inclined at present to see any more 
• strangers, she still showed much disposition to ob- 
tain an interview. '* Well, aint it too bad," she ask- 
ed, '* that there should be any reason for people to 
say such things against the prfests ?" At length she 
obtained admittance to the room where I was, en- 
tered with eagerness, and approached me. 

"Arrah," she exclaimed, **God bless yoo— is 
this you ? Now sit down, and let me see the chiH. 
And is it Father Phelan's, God bless you? But 
they say you tell about murders ; and I want to 
know if they are all committed by the Irish priests/* 
*'Oh no," replied I, '"by no means" "Tiiej) God 

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tB4iVBL. 81ft 

bless you," said she. " If you will live in Montreal, 
you aliall never want. I will see that' neither you 
nor your child ever want, for putting part of the 
blame upon the French priests. I am going to 
Father Phelan, and I shall tell him about it. But 
they say you are an evil spirit. I want to know 
whether it is so or not." ** Come bere," said I, *• feel 
me, and sati^ yourself. Besides, did you ever h®ir 
of an evil spirit having a child?" 

X beard firom those about^me, that there was great 
difScuhy in &iding^ a magistrate wiHing to take^ my 
affidavit. I am perfec^y ra.tisfied that this was ow- 
ing to the influence of the priests to prev^at my 
iWQttsations against them from being madepubHe. 
One evening a lawyer, who had been -employed for 
the purpose, accompanied me to a French jut^ee 
with an affidavit ready prepared in English for his 
ttgoatiure, and informed him that he wished him to 
administer to me the oath. Without any apparent 
emsplciDn of me, the justice said, ^* Have you heard 
of Ihe nun who ran away from the Convent, and has 
CQtne bac^ to the city, to bear witness against ike 
priests?" " No matter about that now," replied the 
laavyer Justify ; *^I have no time to talk with you — 
y#a>^«al} take this person's oath now or not VI He 
eonML. not read a word of the document, because it 
was not in his own liM^guage, and soon plaoed hi» 
8if(natoireat:the bottcMoo:, It proved/ however, that 
we bid gaicied xMith^g* by this step, for the lawyer 
a^rward informed us, tbit the 4aw8 required the 
affidavit of a nun and a minor tt> be taken before a 
superior mas^istrate. -, 

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interview wUh the Attorney Qeneral of the Provinet^Attempi 
to abduct me^Mare interviews — A mob txeiled againet me 
^-^PraUeUd by two eoldUr^^Convinced ffuU mn inveeHgaHon 
qfm;y^rgea could not be obtained— Departure Jrom Mtm^ 
treah— Closing reJUeiUme. 

Thou who liftd advne^ to the eoune to h^ p«r- 
sued, had agreed to la3r the anhjectbcsfinre the highest 
authonlies. They soon eame to the conviction that 
ii would he in vain to look for any fiivout irom the 
Grovernor, uid reeetved to lay it hefbfethe Attonuy 
General as aocm aa he should r^um from Qnehee. 
Albr waiting for some time, he returned; ttid I 
was informed, m a few days, that he had appoiaited 
an interview on the following morning. 1 
die time witha gentleman of the city, to the hence' 
of Mr. GranC a disdngnished lawyer. In a ^oft 
time It servant invited us to walk up stairs, and W«> 
weat; hut after I had entered a sesall rotoa^tllw 
e&iL of a parlomf, the door was sirat behind me \ff^ 
BIr. Ogden, the Attorney Genend. A ciMdr was' 
given me, which was }daced with tlie back towanli 
« bookcase, at which a man- was stam&eig, apparent-* 
ly lo6Uag'at the books ; and besides the two^ porsens 
I have menticBied, there was bat one moare lA the 
ropm»* Mr. Ghfant« the mwBter ^ the heme. Of -die 
fimtpartcrf'theiaterview IiAallnot pexticalarly speak. 

• tTfiUsi anotHir was^ eoneetkd— at I 8nip«ct«d. 

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, The two legal ^entlemeii at. length began a mock 
examination of me, in which they seemed to mie to 
bj actuated more by a curiosity no way commend-' 
a^le,,than a sincere desire to discover the truth, wri- 
tiijg dowi^ a few, of my answers. In this, however, 
the person behind me took no active part. , One of 
the questions put to me was, " What are the colours 
of the carpet in the Superior's room?" ^ 

I told what they were,^ when they turned to 
hinv and inquired whether I had told the truth. 
lie answered only by a short grunt of assent, ,as if 
afi^aid to speak, or even to utter 'a natural tone ; and 
at the same time, by bis ha,$tiness, showed that be 
was displeased that my answer was correct. I wa& 
ask^^ to describe a particul^ man { h^ «9en in 
the nunnery, and did so^ My jex^uniner partly , 
t^tn^d round with some remark ot queat^n which 
wajB answered in a gimilaj; spjjrit. J turned and 
looked at the stranger, who was evidently skulking 
to avoid my seeing him, and yet listenmg to every , 
wprd th^t was said. I ^a^ enough in hij appe?ir- , 
ance to become pretty well satisfied that I had seen 
him before ; and something in his form or aHitude , 
renjinded m.e strongly of the .person , whose name 
had been mentioned. I was then requested tQ re-, 
peat some of the prayers used in the nunnery, and 
repeated pai^ of the office of the Virgin, and some 

At l.^gth, after I had been in the littleToom, as I 
»hpuld judge* nearly an hour, I was informed that 

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91B Afl*ti«i>ix. 

the exflmination had been satis&etory, nttA diat I 
might go. 

I then rettirned home ; but no ftrrther step Was 
taken by the Attorney oisnerat, and he reiused, as 
I understood, to return my affidavit, which hadl)eeki 
Idl in his hands to act upon. 

Besides the persons I have mentiotied, I had in- 
terviews with numbers of oHiers. I testrnt from 
some, that Father Phelan addressed his congrega- 
tion a sexiond time concerning me, and expressly 
forbade them to speak to me if they should have 
an opportunity, on pain of excommunicaition. It 
wiis also said, that he prayed for the family I lived 
with, that they might be converted. 

I repeated*to several difierent persons my willing-' 
ness to go into the tiunnery, and point out visible 
evidences of the truth of my statements ; and wheti 
I was told by t)ne man, who said he had been to the 
priests, that I liad better leave the city, or I would 
be clapped into prison, I made up my mind that I 
should like to be imprisoned a little while, becaiM^ 
then, I thought, I could not be refrtsed a public ex- 

Some Cancldians were |»resent one day, when the 
mistress of the house repeated, in my presence, diat 
I v«ra& ready to go into the nunnery if protected,1md, 
if I did not convince others of the truth of my asser- 
tions, that I would consent to be burned. 

«• O yes, I dare say," replied one of the men — 
** the devil would take her ofi^-^she knows he would. 

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AS^VKL. tit 

He wculd tfl&e care of her— we should never be 
able to get ber — the evil spirit I" 

A woman present said^" I could light the fire to 
bum you, myself." 

A woman of Montreal, who has a niece in the 
nunnery, <m Rearing of whi^t I declared ab mt it, 
said that if it was true she would help tear it down. 

Among, those who came to see me, numbers were 
at first as violent as any I have mentioned, but after 
a little conversation, became mild and calm. I have 
heard persons declare, that it would be no harm to 
kill me, as I had an evil spirit. 

One woman told me, that she had seen Father 
Phelan in the street, talking with a man, to whom 
he said, that the people were coining to tear down 
the house in which I staid, intending afterward to 
set fire to, it in the cellar. This story gave me no 
serious alarm, for I thought I could see through it 
evidence of an intention to frighten me, and make 
me leave the city.* 

I \^as under greater apprehensions, however, one 
day, in consequence of an accidental discovery of 
a plan laid to take me off by force. I had stepped 
into the cellar to get an iron-holder, when I heard 
the voices of persons in the street above, and recog- 

* I ftiTt very- confident, from some drcumstances, that this 
woman had been sent to bring su^ a story by Father Phelan; 
and such evidence qf bis timidity rather imboldened me.. I w as 
in another room when she came, and heard her talking on and 
abntiiigme; then coming ottt, I said, **Howdare vousayldo 
not speak tb0 truth 1" "God bless you»" said she, '^sUdowo 
and tdl0M all." 

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3^. ArrsM>ix. 

niated those of my mother and the Irish ivoman hef 
friend. There was another woman with them. ^ 

** You go in and lay hold of her," said one voice. 

** No, you are her mother — yoii go In and bring , 
her out — we will help you." 

I was almost overcome with dread of falling into 
their hands, believing that they would deliver me 
up to the Superior. . Hastening into a room, I got 
behind a bed, told the lady of the house the cause 
of my fear, and calling to a little girl to bring me 
my child, I stood in a state of violenf agitation. 
Expecting them in the house every instant, and fear- 
ing my in&nt might cry, and so lead them to the 
place of my concealment, I put my hand upon its 
mouth to keep it quiet. 

It was thought desirable to get the testimony of 
the mistress of the house where I spent the night, 
after my escape from the nunnery, as one means of 
substantiating my story. I had been there the day 
before my visit to the house of Mr. Grant, accom- 
panied by a friend, and on my first inquiring of h^r 
about my nunnery dress, she said she had carried 
^ it to the Superior ; speaking with haste, as if she ap- 
prehended I had some object very different from 
what I actually had. It now being thought best to 
summon her as a witness before a magistrate, and 
not knowinfir her whole name, we set off agam to- 
wards he^' *.ouse ta make inquiry. 

On our way we had to pass behind the parade. 

I suddenly heard an outcry from a little gallery io 

^th« r«ar of a house which fVontt another way, whicli 

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drew my attention. *• There's the nun, there's thei 
mini" exclaimed a female, after twice clapping her 
hands smartly together. " There's the nun, there's 
the nun!" 

I looked up, and whom should I see hut the 
Irishwoman, who had taken so active a part, on 9e- 
verai occasions, in my 'affairs, on account of her 
friendship £br my mother-r-the same who had ac- 
companied me to Longeuil in a hoat, when I set out 
for New-YoTk, after making arrangenients for my 
journey. She now behaved as if exasperated against 
me to the utmost ; having, as I had no doubt, learnt 
the object of'my journey to Montreal since I had last 
spoken with her, and having all her Catholic pre- 
judices excited. She screamed out : " There's the 
npn that's come to swear against pur dear Fathe^ 
Phelan. Arrah, lay hold, lay hold upon her ! Catch 
her, kill her, pull her to pieces." 

And so saying she h\irried down to the street, 
whjLl^ a number of women, children, and some men, 
c^mie running out, and pursued after me. I imme- 
diately took to flight, for I did not know what they 
might do ; and she, with the rest, pursued ua, until 
we reached two soldiers, whom we called upon to 
protect U8« . They showed a readiness to do so ; and 
when tJbf^ learnt that we were merely going to a 
house b^ond, and intended to return peaceably, 
consented to accmnpany us. The crowd, which 
might rather be called a mob, thought proper not tq^ 
ofler vm any violence in the presence of the soldiers,, 
and after following us a little distance, began Uydf^ 

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92i$ APPSNpix. 

ofl^ until ^U had disappeared. One of tlie soldiery 
however, soon dfter remarked, that he ohserved a 
man following us, whom he had seen in the. crowd, 
and proposed that instead of both of them going he- 
fore us, one should walk behind, to guard against 
any design he might hare. This was done ; and 
we proce.eded to a house near the one where 1 
had found a refuge, and after obtaining the infor- 
mation we sought, returned, still guarded by the 

All our labour in this case, however, proved una- 
vailing ; for we were unable to get the woman ta 
appear in court. 

At length it was found impossible to induce the 
magistrates to do any thing in the case ; and ar- 
rangements were made for my return to New York. 
While in the ferry:boat, crossing from Montreal to 
Laprairie, I happened to be standing near two little 
girls, when I overheard the following conversation. 

** Why do you leave Montreal so soon ?" 

" I had gone to spend a week or two ; but I heard 
that Antichrist was in the city, and was afraid to be 
there. So I am going right home. I would not 
be in Montreal while Antichrst is thert^ He has 
come to destroy the Catholic religion." 

I felt quite happy when I found myself once more 
safe in New- York ; and it has only been since my 
return from Montreal, and the conviction I had there 
formed, thai it was in vain for me to attempt to get a 
fair investigation into the Hotel Dieu Nunnery, that 
I seriously thought of publishing a book. Under 

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some disadvantages this volume has been prepared, 
and unfortunately its {Hibjieation has been delayed 
to a season when it will be difficult to transmit it 
promptly to ajl parts of I am sure, hevj- 
eyer, that in sfo^ of all, no material errors will be 
found, in it uncorrected, though many, very many,- 
facts and circumstances might have been added 
which would have proved interesting. Indeed I 
am persuaded, frooi the experience I have already 
had, that paM se&aes, b^re forgotten, will continue 
to return to my memory, the longer I dwell i:qKm 
my convent life^iM^d that many of these will tend to 
confirm, explain, or illustrate some of the statements 
BOW before the public. 

But before I <^lose this little volume, I must be in* 
(bilged in sayiog a word of myself. The narrative 
through which the reader has now passed, he must 
not^lose and hiy aside as if it were a fiction ; neither 
would I wish him to forget the subject of it as one wor 
thy only to excite surprise and wonder for a moment. 

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, It if desired that the author of this roittme may be 
regarcbd, not as a yolantary|Mirticipa£lOT in the very 
guilty transactions which are described; but re- 
ceiye S3nnf)athy ibr the trials which she has en- 
dured, and the peculiar situation in which her past 
experience, and escape from the powet of the Superior 
of the Hotel Dieu Nunnery, at Montreal, and the 
snares of the Roman priests in Canada, have left her. 
My feelings are frequently distressed, and agi- 
tated, by the recollection of what I have passed 
through; and by night, and by day, I have little 
peace of mind, and few periods of calm and pleas- 
ing reflection. Futurity also appears uncertain. I 
know not what reception this little work may meet 
with ; and what will be the effect of its publication 
here» or in Canada, among strangers, friends, or 
enemies. I have given the woiid the truth, so fiir 
*a8 I have gone, on subjects of which I am told they 
are generally ignorant; and I feel perfect confi- 
dence, that any ^ts which may yet be discovered, 
will confirm my words, whenever they can be ob- 
tained. Whoever ''^hall explore the Hotel Dieu 
Nunnery, at Montreal, will find unquestionable 
evidence that the descriptions of the interior of that 
edifice, given in this book, were furnished by one 

* This was originally dengned for the Conclusion, but was 
mads ths Prtike^ in th« first edition. 

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wki^tbem ; hr ^pvfaoberer altoatkms may be 
attempted, there are chmges wbich no mason or 
<:atpeoter can make and efiectoally conceal f and 
tfaerefevet thesce mnsthb^ plentilul evid€a:Msein tkat 
iostitutiofi of the truth of my description. 

.There are Hving witnesses, akot^ who ought to 
be made to speak, without fear of penances, tor- 
ture^ and death; aad possibly their testimony, at 
4»eiae fmuretiine^ may be added to confirm my state* 
tnents. There are witnesses* I should greatly rejoice 
<Q see jat liberty ; or rather there toere. Are they 
living now 1 or wiH.thcy be permitted to live after 
the Priests and Superior have seen this book ? Per- 
hs^po^he wretched J1UQ8 in tiie cells have alr^dy suf- 
foredibr my«ak©-^perhaps Jane Ray hasbeen sHenc- 
ed for ever, or will be murdered, before she has an op- 
po^rtunity to add her most importuAt testimony to mine. . 

Bat speedy death, in respect only tothis worM, 
cian be no great calamity to thotse who lead the life 
t)f a «ua The mere recc^eetion of it always makes 
me miserabla It would distress the reader, should 
{repeat tiie dreams wtth which I am oHen terti- 
^^d at night ; for I sometimes &ncy myself pursued 
hfy my worst enemies ; freqaently I seem as if «hut 
^ again inlha Cofti^nt^ a&en l &HAigine my«^lf 
fNEooent at the rep^tion of the worst scen^ Aat I 
have hinted at or describad. Sometimes I stand by 
th^ secret i^lace of interment in the cellar; some- 
times I think I can h^ the shrieks of helpless 
females in the hands of atrocious man j and some- 
times ahnost seem nctasdly to look agaift upofi ^ 

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926 Apnnrdix. 

cafan wad {Arnold comitdnatiee of Saint Frands/ as 
the appeared when surrounded by her murderers. 

I cannot banish the scenes and characters of this 
bode from my memory. To me it cair nev^r appear 
like an amusing fable, or lose its interest and im- 
portance. The story is one which is continually 
before me, and must r^ur n fresh to ray mind, with 
painM emotions, as long as I live. With time^ and 
< Christian instruction, and the sympathy and ejcam- 
ple of the wise and good, I hope to learn submis- 
sively to bear wl«eteveT trials are H^ointed for i^, 
and to improve under them alt 

Impressed as I continually am with the frtghlfai re- 
ality of the pain^l communications that I have losade 
in this volmne, I can only oflfer to all persons who may 
doubt or disbelieve my statements, these two thingts:-*- 

Permit me to gothrough the Ho^el Dieu N«n- 
nery, at Montreal, with some impartial ladies and 
gentlemen, that they may eompara my account with 
the interior parts of that building, into which no- per- 
sons but the RomanBishop and the priests,* are ever 
admitted ; and if ^ey do not find my deseription true, 
then discard me as an impostor. Bring me b^ore^ 
eourt of justice — there I am willing to meet Lariigw, 
DnfresftB^ Phelam^ Boning and Ri^kturds, and their 
^vicked companions, with the Superior, and any of 
the Jiuns, b^re ten thousand men. 

Maria MbivK. 

Net6-Yifrk, lllh Jawmryy 1836. 

* I should fa«fe aiidad, and 9ud%^p$raonB as May introdm$. 

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1. Early means utid iadiecrsdU (he book. ^ Diferent daetes 
fif ohi6ctoiP9,—ix wa« anticipated that perrons who know little 
or nothing of the changeless spirit and uniform practices of the 
Papal ecclemstios, wooid doubt or deny the statements which 
Maria Monk ha»^en of the Hotel Dieu Nunnery at Montreal. 
The dflmeations, if true, are so loathsome and revolting, that 
they exhibit the prmc«)les of the Roman priesthood, and the 
corruption of themonastie system, as combining a social curse, 
wfadch must be extinguished for l^e welfienre of mankiod. 

From the penod when the intimations were first published in 
the' Protestant Vindicator, that a Nun bad escaped from one of 
the Convents in Canada, and that a narrative of the secrets of 
that prison-house for females was preparing for the press ; at- 
tempts have occasionally been made to prejudice the public 
judgment, by l^some eulogies of die Roman Priests and Nuns, 
as paragons of immaculate perfection ; and ako by infiiriated '. 
denunciations and calumnies of all persons, who seriously be 
lieve that every human institution which directly violates the 
constitution of nature^ and t]|e express commands of Grod, must 
necessarily be immorftk 

The system of seclusion and ceUbacy adopted in Convents is 
altogether unnatunu, and subverts all the appointmonts of Je- 
hovah in reference to the duties and i^s^ulness of man : while 
the impenetrable secrecy, which iS Ae cement of the gloomy 
superstructure, not only extirpates ei^^ incentive to active vir- 
tue, but unavoidably opens the flood-gatesof wickedness, with- 
out restraint or remwse, because it secures entire impunity. 

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Since tha pubUcation of the *' Awful Disclosuree," much ao^ 
lidtude has been felt for the result of the exhibitions which they 
present ns : but it is most remarkable, that the incredulity is 
confined almost ezdusiyely to PrQtestants^ or at least, to those 
who pretend not to be Papists. The Roman Priests are toa 
crafty to engage directly in any controversy respecting the credi- 
bility of Maria Menkes narratiye. As long as they can induce 
the Roman Catholics privately to deny the statements, and ta 
vilify. Christians as the inventers of falsehoods concerning "the 
Holy Church and the Holy Priests !" so long will they laugh at 
the censures of the Protestants ; and as long as they can in^ 
fluence the Editors of pofiticml piq;>ers vociferously to deny 
evangelical truth, and to decry every attempt to discover the 
secrets of the Romish priestcraft as false and uncharitable, sa 
long will the Jesuits ridicule and despise that incredulity whiph 
is at once so bMnding, deceitftil, and dancEsroua, 

The volume entitled " Awful Disclosures by Maria Monk,'' 
has been assailed by two classes of Objectors. Some persons, 
affirm that they cannot, and that th^y wiU.noi believe hen nas* 
rative^ because it is so improbable. Who is to judge of the 
standard of improbabilities 1 Assuredly not they who are ig- 
norant of the whole subject to whieh those improbabilities ad- 
vert Now it is certam,^at persons who are aoviain^ with 
Popery, are generally co&i^noedt and readily agree, that Maria 
Monk's narrative is very much assimilated to ihe abstract view 
which a sound judgment, enhghtened by the Holy Scnptitfes, 
would form of that antichristian system, as predicted by ^ 
prophet Danid, Mid the apostles, Peter, Paul, and JcAiBn 

2. TTie question of ProbadilUy.-^Bat the question of pro* 
balHhties may be tasted by <nother fact ; and that is the AiU, un- 
skidien conviction, and the serious dedaration of many persona 
who have lived in Canada, that Maria Monk's allegations 
against the Roman Priests and Nuns in that province, are pre* 
cisely the counterpart of their ordinary character* spirit, an4 
.practice. There are many persons now Residing in the city^of 
New York, who k>ng dwelt in Montreal and Quebec ; and who 
are thoroughly acquainted with the situation of afiairs among 
the Canadian Papists^and such of them as are known, with, 
scarcely a dissenting vo^, proclaim the same facts which 
every traveller, who has any discernment or curiosity, learns 
when he makes the northern summer tour. It is also indubi^ 
table, that intelligent persons in Canada generally, especially 

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itntfents in Montir^d' and Quebec, who have no inducement 
either to falsify or to conceal the truth, ifniformly testify, that 
the nunneries in those cities are notorious places of resort for 
tile Roman Priests for habitual and unrestrained licentiousness ; 
tiut, upon the payment of the stipulated price to the Chaplain, 
other persons, in the disguise of Priests, are regularly admitted 
within the Convent for the same infamous purpose t and that 
many Infiaaits and Nuns, in proportion to^the aggregate amount 
of the whole body of females, are annually murdered and bu- 
ried wkhin their precincts. All this turpitude is as assuredly 
bdieved by the vast majority of the enlightened Protestants, 
arwell as by multitudes of even the Papists in Montreal and 
Quebec, as their own existence; and judging from their declara- 
tions, they have no more doubt of the fact, than they have of 
the summer's sunshine, and the winter's fi'ost and snow. Of 
what value, therefore, is the cavil of ignorance respecting im-r 
prebid>ilitiee ? 

But it is also objected, that the British government would not 
tolerate such a system of enormous wickedness. To which it 
is replied, that the inordinate licentiousness of the Roman 
Pfiests and Nuns in Canada, is demonstrated to be of long 
standing by the archives of that Province, as may be seen in 
Smith's History of Canada ; year 1733, Chapter 6, p. 194. 

The author of that work is Secretary of the Province ; and 
his narrative was compiled immediately from the public docu- 
metits, which are under his official guardianship and control. 
He thus writes :— " The irregularities and improper conduct of 
the Nuns of the Genial Hospital had been the subject of much 
regret and anxiety. Contrary to every principle of their insti- 
tution, they freq<uently accepted of invitations to dinners and 
suppers, and mixed in society, without considering the vows 
which restricted them to their Convent. The king of France 
directed a letter, MauTOas' letter of April 9, 1733, to be written 
to the Coa^utorof Qllbec, by the minister having the depart- 
ment of the Marine ; importing that the king was much dis- 
pleased with the Nans— that regularity and order might be re- 
stored by reducffig the Nuns to the number of twelve, accord- 
ing to their original estiiblishmeni— and that, as the manage- 
mcHfit and superintend^ce of the community had been granted 
^ to^ Oovemor, Prelate, and Intendant, the Coadjutor should 
take tile necessary measures to pre^nt them from repeating 
conduat go indfiorat »nd improper ' « 

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380 APfB19»lX. 4» 

the entire a^ir seams to have been thm that the Nuns <d- 
Quebec at that period prefeiretT the gallant miU^ury o0)eei% 
and thdr bewitching feetivities, to the coarser and less divem- 
fled indulgences of the Jesuits 3 upon which the latter smtrnrar^ 
ed, and reaolyed to hinder the soldiers from intruding into their 
fold, and among ihe cloistered females, to visit whom they 
cUimed as theur own peculiar privilege, inseparably attached ta 
their priestly character and ecttlesiastical fimctions. Irisinfal^ 
libly certain, that after the lapse of lOd years, neither the Jesuits 
nor the Nuns in Canada* are in the smallest particle reftmndd^ 

The British government, by the treaty made upon the surreft- 
der of that province to them, guarantied to the Papal Eiielesi- 
astics, both male and female, their prior exemptions and spe- 
ctal immunities. Many of the officers of the Crovernment In 
Canada, who have long resided there, are anxious to see the 
nunneries and their adjuncts totally extirpated ; and it may bo 
safely asserted, that they know the character given of those m- 
stituiions by Maria Monk is a^graphical picture of their contia^ 
nous doings. 

The British government, for the purpose of retnnu^ their 
supremacy over the province, have not only comoved at those 
irregularities, but have always enjoined that the public saactidn - 
should be given to their puerile shows, and their pageaxit, pom* 
pons proeessions, by the attendance of the civil and military 
officecft upon them, and by desecrating the Lord's daywitk - 
martial music, &c In this particular affair, the executive oA* 
cers of the Provincial Government are fully apprised of ail the 
substantial facts in the case ; for an affidavit €»f the principal 
circumstances was presented to Mr. Ogden, the Attorney Qtn- 
eral of Canada, and to Mr. Grant, another of the King's coun- 
sellors ; and afterward Maria Monk did undergo an examina- 
tion by those gentlemen, in the house of Mr. Grant, at Mon- 
treal, in the presence of Mr. Comtek one of the stxperior order 
of Priests of that city ; and of another West, believed to be 
^ther Phelan or Dufresne, who was concealed behind the solh. 

It is also mootttrovertibie, that the nominal Papists in Cana- 
da, who, in reality, are often infidels, notwithstanding their jo- 
cose sneers, and affected contempt, do generally beheve everf 
tittle of Maria Monk's narrative. This is the style in which 
they talk of it. They first, according to custom, loudly curse 
tha authors; for to find a Papist infidel n^d does not bre«k 
the third commandment, is as diiBouIi as to point out a fMMtl 

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RAman Pneat or a chaete- Noa. They fiiM awear at the au- 
thor, and then, with a hearty laugh, add the foUewing ilnatra'* 
tian :-<-" Everybody knows that the Priests ace a jolly set of 
fellows, who live well, and must have license, or they would 
ba contrary to nature. They hsrve the privik^ of going into 
the nunneries, and they would be great fools if they did not use 
aad enjoy i^ !'' Such is the exact language which is adot>ted 
among the Canadians r and such are ther^recise worda which 
ha¥o been used by Canadian gentlemen in New Yprk, whett 
criticising Maria Monk's volume. It affords stronger. proof' 
than a divect attestation. 

The other clasa of persons who verily believe the " Awfiil 
IKidosttres," are the religioas oommunity in Canada. We tbmk 
that scarcdy a well-informed person can be discovered in Mon- 
treal or Qu^c, who does not feel assured, ^t the interior of 
the Hotel Dieu Nunnery is most faithftiUy depicted by Maria' 
Monk. Ma^y persons are now inhabitants of New- York who 
formerly resided in Montreal^ some of whom have been upon 
tesms of femiliar intimacy for years with those Roman Priests, 
who aie specified as the principal actors in the scetiee depicted 
in that book } and they most solemnly declare, that they have 
no doubt of the truth of Maria Monk's narrative. 

Mr. Samuel B, Smith, who has been not only a Roman 
Priest, but has had several cages of nuns under his sole man-' 
agement, questioned Maria Monk expressly respecting those 
afl&irs, enstoms, and cereimonies, which appertain only to nim^ 
naries, because they camiot be in-actised by any other females 
but those who 9xe shut up in those dungeons ; and, after 
having minutely examined her, he plainly averred that it was 
manifeat she could not have known the things whioh she com^^ 
municated to him unless she had been a nun ; not merely a , 
sdiolar, or a temporary resident, or even a novice, but a nun, 
who had taken the veil, in the strictest sense of the appellative. 
This testimony is dithe more vcdi^ because the conclusion 
does net depend upon any conflicting statements, of partial or 
prejudicial witnesses, but upon a feet which is essential to the 
syBtem of monachism ; that no persons can know all the se- 
crets of nunneries, but^he Chaplain, the Abbess, and their ac- 
compMces in that " mystery of iniquity." Mr. Smith's declar- 
ation in one other respect is absolutely decisive. He has de- 
clared )iot only that Maria Monk has been a nun, but also that 
tha deseillptioai whioh she gives are most minutely aeourate. « 

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332 Ai»PSK»ix. 

Mkv Smith al«e testifies that the aocoitnt whieh Maria ] 
gives of the proceeditigs of the priests, the obscene nvmm-' 
tioos whieh they^sk young females, and their lewd practieM 
with them at auiictilar confesoon, are Qonstantly exemplified 
by the Roman Priests ; and he also confirms her statements^ 
by the testimony of his own individual experience, and aetnal 
personal acquaintance with the Csnadtan nunneries, as well as- 
with those in the United Siates, and e^eciaUy of that at Mon- 
roe, Michigan, whioh was dissolved by Mr. Fenwick« on afr- 
couut of scandalous impurity, only about five years agp« 

Mrs. ♦ ♦ *, a widow lady now in New- York, who fwH 
merly was a Papist in Montreal, and was recently converted to 
Christianity, solemnly av^s, that the Priest Richards himorffi 
con^bicted her from the Seminary through the subterraneous 
passage to the nunnery, and describes the whole exactly in ac- 
cordance with the statement of Maria Monk. 

Mr, Hoyd, who was in business a number of yeavs adjacent 
to the nunnery, and who is intimately acquainted with tkosa 
priests, their characters, principles, and habits, avows hisun* 
qaalified conviction of the truth of the " Awful Disdosures." 

Mr, Hogan^ who was eighteen months in the Jeswt Semin<< 
ary at Montreal, and in constant intercourse and attendance 
upon lairtigue and his accomplices, unequivocally afiinas, that 
Maria Monk's complex descriptions ot those Priests are most 
minutely and accurately true. 

One hundred other persons probably can be adducent whe^ 
during th^r residence in Canada, or on their tours to that 
province, by inquiries ascertained Uiat things in acoordance 
with Maria Monk's delineations are the undoubted bdief of 
each class of persons^ end of every variety of condition, and ta 
all places which th^ visited in tiower Canada. 

Mr. Oreemjitld^ the father of the gentleman who owns the 
two steamboats on the river St. Lawrence, called the Lady ui 
the Lake, and the Canadian Eagle, who is a oiliien of New- 
Vork, avows his unqualified assent to all Maria Monk's atate^ 
ments, and most emphatically adds— "iUarta Mmkka» not 
disclosed one tenth part of the truth respecting the jRqmcm 
Priests and Nims in Canada" 

Fifty other persons from that province, now residing in N^*- 
Vorit, likewise aUest the truth of the " Disclosures." 

At Sorel, Berthier, and Three Rivers, the usual stopping pla* 
•es t9>r ths steamboats on ths river St Lawrence* tjia Priests, 

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if llupyluv^ may caaw ta be at the whar^ nm b9 somi aceoniK 
ptnied by one or^more children, their " Nephewt^** ae thePrieita 
faoeHowfiif denominate their <^fis]^ng; aitd if any pereon on 
the steamboat should be heard expatiatiiifi; upon the piety, the 
temperance, the honesty, or the purity of Roman Priests and 
NanSj he would be langhed at ontrigfat, either as a natural or an 
ironical jester ; while the ptiest himsejf would join in the mer- 
rimenty at being a "caiatal joke.'' 

W6 are aaeuied by the nost indisputable authorhy in JMon- 
tvsalt &at the strictly religiOT»9 people ui that city dogenerall/ 
credit Maria Monk's statements without hesitation ; and the 
deokiye anpresson of her veracity can never be removed. If it 
were possible at once to reform the nunneries, and to transform 
them from castles of ignorance, uncleanness, and murder, 
where all thdr arts are concealed in impervious secrecy, into 
abodes of wisdom, chastity, and benevolence, to every recess of 
which sH persons, at every hour, might have unrestricted ad- 
mission — that would not change the past ; it would leave them 
indelibly branded with the emphatical title applied to the nun- 
nery at Ch^destown, " Filthy, mubdsbous obns." 

3. Who are thme who deny the truth of the book ? Ckue qf 
Father Conr&y, Father Conrof^a deception. 

In addition to the objections from improbability, another se- 
ries of opposiiion consists of flat broad denials of the truth of 
Maria Monk's " Awful Disclosures." This mode of vanquiflAi- 
ing direct charges is even more invalid than the former futile<:a- 
valliog. ^ It ii^ also more remarkable^ when we remember who 
are the persons that deny the statements made by Maria Monk. 
Are they the Roman Priests hnplicated? Not at all. They 
are too erafty. The only persons who attempt to hint even a 
suspicion of the truth of the secrets divulged in the " Awful Dia^ 
closures," are editors of Newspapers t some of whom are ever 
found on the side of infidelity and vice; men always reproachr 
ingr^ion ; and directly calumniating, or scornfully ridiculing 
the best Christians in the land ; and profoundly ignorant of 
Popery and Jesuitism, and the monastic system.' 

It is true that Priest Conroy of New-Tork, has contradicted 
in general terms the truth of the statement respecting himself 
aqd his attempt to abduct Maria Monk from the Almshouse. 
But what does he dedy 1 He is plainly charged, in the " Awflil 
Disclosures," with a protracted endeavour, hyfra%td or by force 
to remove Maria Monk from that iaitfHtution^ Now that 

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384 * ;4»PE!iM«. 

ehftrge intolve* a ARgrant mlBdeniMnor, or it is a *vi4d(«d vhA 
gross libel. Let him answer tbe following qnestions : 

Did he not freqnentiy vimt that kouse, and hirk about at ▼aii* 
ons times, f(Mr longer and shorter periods^ expressly to bate aa 
interview with Maria Monk 7 

Did he not state that he was acquainted with her by the name 
she bore in the nunnery, StdnU Eu»taoe ? 

Did he not declare that he was commissioned by Lartigo*,- 
Phelan, Dufresne, Ketty, and the Abbess of the Hotel Dniu 
Nunnery at Montreal, to obtun possession of her, that ^le 
might be sent back to «hat abode of the Furies 1 

Did he not offer her any ihing she pleased to demand, provl- 
dsd she would reside with the UrsuKnes of this city T 

Did he not also declare that he would have her at all risks, 
and that she should not escape him ? 

Did he not persevere in this course of action, un^ he was 
positively assured that she would not see him, and that the 
Priest Conroy should not have acOess to Maria Monk? 

Was not the Priest Kelly, from Canada, in New-Tork at 
that period, prompting Conroy; and did not that sameKelfy 
come on here expressly to obtain possession of Maria Monk, 
that he might carry her back to the Hotel Dicu Nunnery, there 
to murder her, as his accomplices have smothered, poisoned, 
and bled to death other victims of their beastly licentfousness'^ 

All those questions are implied in Maria Monk's statement, 
and they involve the highest degree of crime against the liber- 
ty, rights, and life of Maria Monk, and the laws of NewrYorfc, 
nd the charge is either true or false. Why does not the Priest 
C«inroy try ill Why does he not demonstrate that he is ca- 
lumniated, by confronting the Authoress and Publishers of ^e 
book before an impartial jury. We are assured that the Exec- 
utive committee of the New- York Protestant Association will 
give ten dollars to any Lawyer, whom Mr. Conroy wiH authorize 
to institute a civil suit fbr a libel, payable at the termination of the 
process. Will he sul^tt the question to that scrutiny? Never. 
He would rather follow the example of his fellow priests, and 
depart from New-York. Many of the Maynooth Jesuits, after 
having fled from Ireland for their crimes, to this country, to 
avoid the punishments due to them for the repetition of them 
in the TTnitcd States, and to elude discovery, have assumed 
false names and gone to France ; or in disguise have Joined 
their dissolute companions in Canada. 

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il is also « fact, duti the Priest named Quarter, widi on« of 
hia miiik>n% did visit the house where Maria Monk resides^on the 
18th day of February^ 1836'; and did endeavour to see her alone, 
tmder the false pretext of delivering to her a packet from her 
brother in Montreal; and as an argument for having an inter- 
view with her without company, one of the two impostors did 
protest that Ite had a parcel from John Monk, which "he had 
Bwom not to deliver exc^t into the hands of bis »ster in per- 
son." Now what object had Mr. Quarter in view ; and what 
was his design in going to her residence between nine and ten 
o'clock at night, under a lying pretence 1 Mr. Quarter comes 
from Canada. He knows all the Priests of Montreal. For 
what purpose did he assume a fictitious character, and utter 
base and wilful falsehoods, that he might have access to her, 
with another man, when Maria Monk, as they hoped, would 
be without a protector*? For what ignoble deeign did he put 
an old Truth Teller into a ptu-cel, and make his priest-ridden 
minion declare that it was a very valuable packet of letters 
from John Monk 1 That strange contrivance requires explan- 
ation. Did Priest Quarter believe that Maria Monk was in Mon- 
treal 1 Did he doubt her personal identity 1 Does not that fact 
alone verify that all the Roman Priests are con^sderated ? Does 
it not prove that her delineations are correct? Does it not 
«vinoe that the Papal Ecclesiastics dread tbe disclosures 7 

4. TJie great ultimate test which the nature of the caae de- 
manda. Challenge qf ^e New York Protestant Association.— 
It is readily admitted, that the heinous charges which are made 
by Maria Monk against the Roman Priests cannot easily be 
rebutted in the usual form of disproving criminal allegations. 
The denial of those Priests is good for nothing, and they can- 
not show an aMbi, But there is one mode of destroying Maria 
Monk's testimony, equally prompt and deeiHtCt. and no other 
way is either feasible, just, or can be efficient. That method is 
the plan proposed by the New- York Protestant Association. 

The Hotel Dieu Nunnery is in Montreal. Hero is Maria 
Monk's description of its interior apartments and passages. 
She offers to go to Montreal under the protection of a com- 
mktee of four menbersof the New-Tork. Protestant Assocla- 
~tk>n, ftnd in company with four gentlemen of Montreal, to ex- 
plore the Nmmery; and she also voluntarily proposes that if 
her descriptkms of the interior of the Hotel Dieu Nunnery are 
BOt fottad to be true, she wiU surrender herself to Lartigue and 

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hit eonfederates to tortioe her in whet way thaymay platsa, or 
will bear the punishment of the dvU laws as a haae and wilAd 
slanderer of the Canadian Jesuit Ecclesiastic?. 

When Lartigue, Bonin, Dafresne, Phelao, Richard^ and thsir 
fiilowSk accede to this ixropositioB, we shi^ hesitate respecting 
Maria Monk's yeracity ; until than, ,by all impartial and inteUi- 
gent judges, and by all enlightened protestants and Christians^ 
(he '* Awfld Disclosures" will be pronounced undeniable facts. 

The scrutiny, however, respecting Maria JV(onk's credibilily 
comprises t¥70 general questions, to which we shall succinctly 

I. Wcu Maria Monk a Nun in the Hotel DitU. Convent at 
Montreal ?— In ordinary cases, to dispute reepectiug a circum- 
stance of that kind woi^ be deemed a most strange absurdity ; 
and almost simdar to an inquiry into a man^s personal identity 
when his liTing form is before your eyesw Maria Monk says she 
was a Nun, presents you a book descriptive of th? Convent in^ 
which she resided, and leaves the fact of her abode there to be 
verified by the minute accuracy of her delineations of arcana, 
with which only the visiting Roman Priests and the inums- 
oned Nuns are acquainted. That test, nether Lartigue nor 
the Priests will permit to be iqjpUed; and therefore, so far, 
Maria Monk's testimony cannot directly be corroborated. It 
is however not a little remarkable, that no one of all the 
persons so boldly impeached by her of the most atrocious 
crimes, has even whi^ered a hint that she was not a Nub ; 
while the Priest Conroy has confirmed that fact far more oex- 
tainly than if he had openly asserted its truth. 

5. The testimony qf Mrs, Monk considered.— The only avi 
dence against that fact is her mother. X^w it is undeniable, 
that her mother is a totally incompetent witness. She is known 
ra Montreal to be a woman of but Uttle prindple ; and her oath 
in her daughter's fovour would have been iujurious to her i for 
ahe is so habitually intemperate, that it is questionable whether 
she is ever truly competent to explain any luattera which come 
vnder her notice. Truth requires this declaration, although Ma- 
lia, with commendable filial fieehnga, did not hint at the fact 
Besides, during a number of years past, shehas exhibited a most 
unnatural aversion, or ra^r animosity, to h&c daughter; so 
that to her barbaraus usage of Maria when a child* nay be im- 
pmed the subsequent scenes through which she has paased. 
When appealed to reelecting her daughter, her unilbrm lan- 

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gnage was such as this— "I do not care wHat becomes of her, wt" 
who .takes her, or where she goes, or what is done to her, pro- 
vided she keeps away from me." 

It is also testified by the most unezceptioQable witnesses in 
Montreal, that when Maha Monk went to that city in August, 
1835, and first made known her case, that Mrs. Monk repeatedly 
declared, that her- daughter had been^a Nun; and that she 
had been in the nunneries at Montreal a large portion of her life. 
She also avowed, that the ofier of bribery that had been made 
unto her, had been made, not by Protestants, to testify that her 
daughter Maria had been an inmate of the Hotel Dieu Nunnery ; 
but by the Roman Priests, who had promised her one hundred 
dollars, if she would make an affidavit that Maria had not been 
in that nunnery at all ; and would also swear to any other 
matters which they dictated. • Now there is little room for 
doubt, that the affidavit to the truth of which she finally swore 
was thus obtained ; for she has not capacity to compose such a 
narrative, nor has she been in a state of mind, for a number 
of years past, to understand the details which have thus craft- 
ily been imposed upon the public in her name, WJien she had * 
no known inducement to falsify the fact in August, 1836, before 
the Priests became alarmed, then she constantly affirmed that 
her daughter had been a Nun ; but after Lartigue and his com- 
panions were assured that her daughter's narrative would ap- 
pear, then the mother was probably bribed, formally to swear 
to a wilful falsehood ; for it is most probable, that she either 
did not see, or from inloxioation could not comprehend, the 
contents of the paper to which her signature is affixed. Her 
habitual intemperance, her coarse impiety, her long-indulged 
hatred and cruelty towards her daughter, and her flat self-con- 
tradictions, with her repeated and public declarations, that she 
had been offered a large sum of money by the Montreal Priests, 
thus to depreciate her daughter's allegations, and to attest upon 
oath precisely the contrary to that which she had previously 
declared, to persons whose sole object was to ascertain the 
truth — all those things demonstrate that Mrs. Monk's evidence 
is of no worth ; and yet that is all the opposite evidence which 
can be adduced. 

6. Testimony in favour of the book.—M.r. Miller, the son of 
Adam Miller, a well known teacher at St. John's, who has 
known Maria Monk from her childhood, and who is now a res- 
ident of New York, solemnly attests, that in the month of 


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Angnst, 183^] he made inquiries of Mrs. Monk respecting 'ker 
daiigiiter Maria, and that Mrs. Monk informed him that Maria 
was then a Nun I that she had taken the veil previous to that 
conversation, and that 'she had heen in the nunnery for a 
number of years. Mr. Miller voluntarily attested to that fact. 
He was totally ignorant of Maria Monk's being out of the 
Nunnery at Montreal, until he saw her book, and finally by 
searching out her place of abode, renewed the acqiiaintance 
with her which had existed between them from the period when 
she attended his father's school in her childhood. See the af- 
fidavit of William Miller, page 237. 

When Maria Monk made her escape, as sho states, from the 
Hotel Dieu Nunnery, she took refhge in the house of a woman 
named Lavalliere, in EUzabeth street, Montreal, the second 
or third door from the corner of what is commonly called " the 
Bishop's Church." Madame Lavalliere afterward admitted, 
that Maria Monk did arrive at her house at the time speci- 
fied, in the usual habiliments of a Nun, and made herself 
,, known as an eloped Nun ; that she provided her with other 
clothing; and that she afterward carried the Nun* s garments 
to the Hotel Dieu Nunnery. 

After her escape, Maria Monk narrates that she went on 
board a steamboat for Quebec, intending thereby to avoid being 
seized and again transferred to the Nunnery, that she was recog- 
nised by the Captain, was kfpt under close watch during the 
whole period of the stay of that boat at Quebec, and merely by 
accident escaped from the hands of the Priests, by watching for 
an unexpected opportunity to attain the shoreduring the absence 
of the Captain, and the momentary negligence of the female at- 
tendant in the cabin. The woman was called Margaret , the 

other name is forgotten. The name of the Master of the steam- 
boat is probably known and he has neverpretendedtodeny 
that Statement, that he did thus detain Maria Monk, would not 
permit her to go on shore at Quebec, and that he also conducted 
her back to Montreal; having suspected or ascertained that 
she was a Nun who had clandestinely escaped from a Convent. 

7. Corroborative evidence unintentionally furnished by the 
opponents of the book.—Mter her flight from Ae steamboat, she 
was found, early in the morning, in a very perilous situation, 
either on the banks, or partly in the Lachine Canal, and was 
committed to the public prison by Dr. Robertson, whence she 
was speedily released through the intervention of Mr. Esson, 

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«iM<^tkePtwbytQ«iftiniiii8teniofMoRtreal. Upon tins topk^ 
her statement coincides exactly ¥^th that of Dr. RobertsoiK 

But he also states— ** Although incrddnkms as to the truth 
of Maria Monk's story, I thought it incumbent tq^n in* to 
make some infuiry concerning it, and have asoertained 
where she has been residing a great part ^f the time she states 
haying been an inmate of the Nunnery. During ihe summer 
of. 1882, she was at service atWilham Henry; the winters of 
1832^3) she passed in this neighbourhood at St. Ours and St 

That is most remarkable testimony, because, although Ps'- 
pists may justly be admitted to know nodiing of times and 
dates, unless by their Carnivals, their Festivals, their Lent, or 
their Penance— yet Protestant Magistrates might be more pr»- 
OMi Especially, as it i# a oertaln fact, that no person at Sorel 
can be discoveredi who is at all acquainted with such a young 
woman at service in the summer of 1832. It is true, ab/e did re- 
side at St Denis or St Ours, as the Roman Prie^ can tea- 
$ify ; but net at the period specified by Dr. Robertson. 

For the testimony of a decisive witness in favour of MarA' 
Monk, see page 238. 

8. Stfmmary itiew of tke ericimctf.— Let us sum up this con- 
tradictory evidence respecting the simple &ct, whether Maria 
Monk was a resident of the Hotel Dieu Nunnery, or noti 

Her mother says—" I denied that ray daughter had ever been 
hi a Nunnery," Dr. Robertson ^orms us—** I have ascertain- 
ed where she has been residing a great part of the time she 
states having been an inmate of jthe Nunnery." That is aQ 
which can be adduced to contradict Maria Monk's statement 

This is a most extraordinary affair, that a young woman's 
place oi abode cannot be accurately discovered during several ' 
yearsi when all the controversy depends upon the fiict of that 
residence. "V^i^ did not Dr. Robertson specify minutely with 
whomMariaMonklived at«l0rviceat William H^poiry, in thesum- 
mer of 1832 '{—Why did not Dr. Robertson exactly designats 
where, and with whom, she resided at St. Denis and St Ours, 
in the winters of 1832 and 1833 ? The only a^iswer to these ques- 
tions is this— l>r. RohtHaon cannot. He obtained his contradte- 
tory inlbrmation most probably from her mother, or from the 
Priest Kelly, and then imbodied it in his affidavit to regain that 
fiivour and popularity with the Montreal Papists which he has 
so long lost We /ure convinced that neither the evidence of 

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Sid 'hnmnmK.-'- 

Hn. Mon^ nor ^-Dn Robertson, woaU be ef s imAte% 

wdfffatm a court of jnstiee against the other vrkBeS8es,MEs» 
, and Mr. Wiltiam MiUer. 

Maria Monk asserts, ^at she was a resident in the Hotel 
DisQ Noanery durinff the period designated br Dr. Robertson, 
which is ftim^rly denominated the Cholera sunimer. Ishsr 
•arradVe, ^edeveieps a variety of minute andcfaairaeteristie de- 
tails of proceedings in that Institatbn, connected with things 
which all pereons in Montreal know to hare actually oceaned, 
and of events which it is equally certain did happen, and wfaii^ 
did not transpiae anywhere t^se ; and which it is irape0B9)le 
coald hare taken t>lace at Sorel or William Henry ; becaisM 
diere is ne Nunnery diere ; and oonsequently her deecriptioaa 
would be purely^f&bricated and ^ctitioiys. 

But the things asserted are not inventions of imagmaliaH* 
No person could tiius delineate seenes which he had not be^ 
held ; and therefore Maria Monk iritmessed them ; conseqaent^ 
ly, she was a member of that female commumtyt for the cir- 
cumstances which she narrates nowhere else occurred. At all 
^events, it se^ns more reasonable to suppose that an uidividnal 
can more certainly tell what has been his own course of li^ 
than persons who, by their own admission, know nothing of 
the subject ; and espeeiaBy whoi her statements aro confirmed 
by such unexceptionable witnesses. 

There are, howeyer, two collateral p<nnt8 of evidence which 
stronfi^y ecmfirm Maria Monies dhect statements. Ome is de- 
rived from the very character oi the acknowledgments which 
she made, and the period wh^n they were Gxwt disclosed. **A 
death-bed," says thelPoet, "is a delecter of the heart." Noir 
it is certain, that the appalling facts which she states^ were not 
primarily made in a season of hilarity, or with any design to 
*' make money*' by them, or with any expectation that they 
would be knows to any other person than Mat Hllliker, Mr. 
Tappen, and a^w odiers at Bellevttei but when there was no 
antieipation that her fife would be prolonged, and when ago- 
nized with the most direful retrospection and prospects. 

It is not possible to b^ve, that any woman: wonkl confess 
those facts which are divulged by Maria Moidc, unless from 
dread of death and the judgment to come, or from the efiect ei 
profound Christian penitence. Feminine tepugnance would be 
invincible*- Thus, the alarm of eternity, her entrance upon 
which appeared to be so immediate, was theonly cause pf those 

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9ie the very, nurseries of ih^ m^st nefarkms erimes, and the 
moat abandoned transgressors. 

The other coiij»d«Fation is this— that admitting the state^ 
ments to be true, Maria Monk could not be unoonsciottsof the . 
mnli^ty of Roman Priests, and of herown danger} and if her 
statements we^ fictitioa8» slEfe was doubly involving herself in 
irreparable disgrace and rum. In either case, as long as she 
^as in Nev»^York i^e was personal^ safe ; and a^ her disclo- 
aores had been restricted to very few pwsonsi ahe might have -• 
withdrawn froui the public institution} and in privaey have 
passed away her life, " alike unknowing andfeunknot^'' Ln« 
nacy itself c^nld only have it»ltigated a woman situated as she 
' waS) to'wii .vlonticci}, and there defy the power, andmahce, 
a^&u-y of the Roman PriestSiand their i^yrtaidona; by accu* 
mulating upon them ohargesof rape, infanticide, the inaction 
of the tortmee of the Inquiahto, and murders of cold-blooded 
ferocity in the highest degree, ^ith all the atroc^pua concomi- 
tant iniquities whjj^ those prime ptolific ain« include* 

Now it is certain, that she was not 4er«iged ; and she wan^ 
not foxced. She went deliberately} and edf her own accord, t^' ' 
meet'the Popish Priests upon the spoi- where their crknes «e 
perp^ated, and in the stronghold of their- power. Whether 
that measure was the most pradent and politic for herself and 
the moat wise and efficient for the^fteguisition of the arovved ob- 
is0v may be disputed ; but tbe'^smpkry cq^ennesB and the 
magnanimous daring of that act cannot be controverted. ^ 

The narrative, pages 172 to irfiUfeapecting the cholera and 
the election ri<^8 at Montr|^t botn whiclVicenes hiippeiied at 
the period when Dr. Robertson says Maria lUbnk was at Wil^' 
hi9m Henry, or St. Denis, or St. Ours;.co«ld not have been 
(ktscribed, at- least that part of it respecting the wax candles, 
and the pf^p|||[tiona for defence, except by a -rasident in th6 
Nunnery. * ., 4 - 

4. j^t is a public, notonoua fact, that "blessed candles" were 
ma^e^and sold by the Nun^ and used at Montreal under the 
luretext to preserve houses from th^ Cholera,* and to dnva 
it. away ; that those candles were directed so to be kept burning * 
by the pretended injunction of the P<9a; and that large quan- 
tities c^lhe P^unnerycandles were di^>ereed about Montreal 
and its vicinity, whicITwere fixed at a high price j andVh«>ever 
maSbttd by the Ch^kra, the Nuna and their Masters, the 

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Acta 19 1 99. it is ofc^ns, that a young Papist woman at ser^ 

vice at William Henry, could know no inore of those mattera, 

than if she had been at Lat)nulor;,ibr the ifleidentatrAnwk 

. with which that part of the narrate commences, is on^lSic 

those appai«ntly superfluous intimations, which it is eWSonit a 

person who was writing a fiction would not inttoduce; and yet 

it is so profoundly diaracteristicof a Canadian Consent, that 

its rery si»ple artlessness at once obliterates Dr. 'flob6rtson*# 

* affidavit ^^ There were a few insttoces, and oidy a few, in 

wlaoh we knew any thing that was happening in ^e world ; 

and eteif than ovtf knowledge did not extend out iif the city.** 

We cannot be ioialtibly certain df Maria Monk's descripfion of 

the mtorior of the Nunnery ; but that iHMpreiBeditaii|| renrt^ 

80 minutdy descriptive of the prsdonilliating ^noranee am^bR 

the N«uw of' all terrestrial eonc^ras eKerbr to the Convent, iar 

- satis£tctory proof that the narrator was not sketching ftom 

~ fiincy, but depicting from actual life. ' > 

From those testknonasa, dkect and nninlJBrtiond, it is fcffly* 
evident, that Maria Monk was long a resident, and is prolbaiid- 
\lf acquainted with the doiflgs in Uie Hotd Bieu Cony«it at 
MentreaL - ' 

11. What ot^teral evidence eaft be adduced of the truffa or 
the " Awful Disclosures" by BH(ria Monk 1 ^ 

I. O^e corroborative testis^y is derived from the 'wUenee OT 
the Roman PHeata and ffiemmvowed parttsoTU. Momfa»||IWe 
passed away smce the first stafeements of those matters were 
iftade, and al^o the defence ^ the Priests, vrith the atfidavits 
and other oannectedVrircumstance^^were presented to the pub- 
lic in the Protestant Vindicator. One of the peraensin Mon- 
treal, who was infffvomr of the Jetaits, Mr. Douoet, stated tint 
" the Priests -never taketq) such things ; they allow their char- 
acter to defend itself.^ liiere w«| a time when|||Mt4M)nteni0|« 
uous course wo|Ud have safficed, or rather, when to have spo- 
ken the truth of Roman Priests would have cost a man Id^* 
life, andoverwh^med Itts femSy in penury, disgrMe, and cn-^ 
goiah. The Canadian Jesuits may be assured that time kM 
passed away, never more to r^tflm. They must take up thw 
thing ;^ for their charaolers cannot defend themselves ; and 
every enlightened man in Canada know|& that in a m^fgil a»> 
peet, tiieyeannot be defended. 

Argument, deniati affidavits, if they ooM reach^frem Mon- 

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tr^lo New Yoik, and the oaths of every Papist and Infidd 
in Canada/- from Joseph Signay, the Popish Prelate of Quebec, 
and Jean Jacques Lartigue, the Sufiragan of Montreal, down to 
the most profligate of the half-pay military officers, among 
%hom are to be found some of the dregs of the British anny» 
nil <rf them will avail nothing. They are not worth a puff of 
wind against.the internalevidence of Maria Monk's book, in 
donnezion with the rejection of the prooosal of the New York 
r ProtestaiflfcAssociation, that the Nimnery shall undergo a strict 
Und impartial examination. « 

It is one of t!ie remarkable evidences of the extraordinary de~ 
hunon which blinds, or the Infatuation whiib enchams the pub- 
lic mind, th^.t men will not»redit the corruptions and barbari- 
ties oTJIoiiianism. To account for this stupefaction among 
•jmBona who are wi(||fr*liwake to every pth^ system of deadly 
evil, i4 aImo;jt impossible. Popery necessarily extirpates the ; 
ri^thts of man. It ever hie destroyed the well-being of society. 
( By it, all municipal law and domestic obligations are abrogated. * 
It always subv^its national prosperity and stability ; and it is 
the invincible extinguisher of all true morality and genuine re- 
lighm. Notwithstanding, men will give credence neither to 
itfj^Wn avowed ^nciples, characteii and spirit ; nor to the im- 
irv^dable effects which constantly h^ye flowed ftbm its opera- 
tions and predominance. 

In any other case but one exj^sing the abominatioiiB of Po-, 
■j^^i such a volume as Marifluonk's "^wful Disclosures" 
wotdd have Yhen received without cavil ; and immediate judi- 
cial measures would have bee^ lulopted, to ascertain the cer- 
tainty of the alleged fac||r and £he extent and Aggravation of 
their criminality. But now persons are calling for more evi- 
dence, when, if they reflected but for a moment, they would per- 
ceive, that the only additional evidence possible, is under the 
«Btire eDnl|tf|of the veriy>ersons who are criminated ; and toi 
whom the admiesion of j|^ier testimony w^d be the accu- 
mulation of indelible ignominy. 

llie pretence, that it is contrary to their rules to allow stran- 
ger^ to explore the interior of a nu{inery, only adds insult to 
crime. Why should a Convent be* exempt from search, more 
than any othet edifice ? Why should Roman Priests be at lib- 
ectt|to perpetrate, every deed of darkness in impenetrable re- 
cesiS called nuniibriea? Why should one bod/of/emales, 
shut up in a certain species of mansion, to whom only one class 

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a44 . AVFEUXUX. 

of men have unrestricted access, be excluded from all ^l^ 
and legal supervision, more than any other Habitation of tewd. 
women, into which all men may enter 1 As citizens of the Uni* 
ted States, we do not pretend to have any authoritative claim 
to explore a convent within the dominion of a foreign potentate^. 
The Roman Priests of Canada exercise a vast influence, aod 
are completely intertwined with the Jesuits in this rep€l»H& 
Therefore, when ftiey remember the extinction of the nunnexiei 
at Monroe, Michigan, XJharlestown, and Pittsburg L,/uid wh«n 
they recollect, that the delineations of Maria Monk, if they pro- 
auce no effect in Canada, will assuredly render female convents 
in the United States very suspicious and insecure ; if they have 
any solicitude for tneir confederal, they will intrepidly defy 
research, and dauntlessly accept the offer of the New-Yorit 
Protestant Associaiion : that a joint conMpittee, of disintercstol; 
enlightened and honorable judges, should fully investigate, and 
' equitably decide upon the truth orfabphood of Maria Monk's 
averments. Their ominous silence, their affected contempt, 
and their audacious refusal, are calculated only to convince 
every impartial person, of even the smallest iJiscemmejit, ol 
the real state of things in that edifice ; that the chambers of pol- 
lution are above, and that ij^e dungeons of tortsre and de&Ui are 
below ; and 4hat they dread the exposure of the theatr&lm 
which their horrific tragedies are performed. 

It is also a fact publicly avowed by certain Montreal Papists 
themselves, and extensively t^lf in taunt and triumph, thaj^ 
they have been eitiplbyed as masons and carpenters by the Ro- 
man Priests, since Maria Monk's visit to Montreal in August, 
1835, expressly to alter variourpRrts ofjhe Hotel Dieu Convent, 
and to close u^ some of* the subterraneous passages and cells 
in that nunnery. This circumstance is not pretended even to 
be disputed or doubted ; for when tbe dungeons under ground 
are spoken of before the Papists, then- remark i^^is; "Eh 
bein ! mais vous ne les trouverez pa^gftpresent ; (Hnes a cach6 
hors de vue. Vefy well, you will n8t find them there now; 
they are closed up, and out of sight." Why was this manoM- 
vre completed 7 Manifestly, that in urgent extremity, a casQBl 
explorer might be deceived, try the apparent proof that the ave- 
nues, and places of imprisonment and torture which Maria Monk 
describes are not discoverable. Now that circumstance mjght 
not even havjp been suspected, if the Papisjt workmen them- 
selves had not openly boasted of the chicanery by which the 

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Frie9t8| who emplo^ them^ expected toblind axui deceive the 
ProteBta»t9. For ia refereoce w the Romanists, « Popish 
Priest well knows that nothing more ianecessary than for him 
to assert any absurdi^» however gross or impossible, and attest 
it by the five crosses on his vestments, and his superstitious 
vassal believes it with more assiu'ance than his own personal 
identity. But the filling up and the concealment of the old 
i^rturesin the nuonery, by the order of the Roman Priests, are 
scarcely less powerful corroborative proof of Maria Monk's de- 
ly^eations, than ocular and palpable demonstration* 

9. Some of the circumstances attending Maria Monk's visit 
to Montre^ in August, 1835, add great weight in favour 
of the truth, which no cavils, ^epticism, scorn, nor menacesi 

We will however state one very recefld^ccurrenoe, because it ^ 
s^ms to us, that it alone is almost decisive of the OHitroversy. 
A counsellor of Quebec— ^his name is omitted merely from deli* 
cacy and i^iidential considerations— has been in NeW'York 
nnce the publication of the " Awfiil Disclosures." His mind 
was so mjich influenced by the perusal of that volume, that he 
■ought out the Authoress, and most closely 49earched into the^ 
credibility oih&t statements. Before the terminat^n of the in- 
terview, that gentleman became so convinced of the truth of 
the picture which Maria Monk drew of the interior of the Ca- 
nadian Nunneries, that he exgMsed himself to the following 
tSect :— "My daughter, about l^ears of age, is in the Ursuline 
Convent at Quebec. I will return home immediately; and if X 
cannot remove her any other way, I will drag her out by the 
hair of her head, apd ra^ a noise ab9ut' their ears that shall 
not soon be quieted." 

That gentleman did so return to Quebec, since which he has 
again visite^ew- York ; and he stated^ that ^Q»on hi^ arrival 
in Quebec, wWentto th^C^ny^t, apd instanUy removed his 
daughter from the Ursuline Nunnery ; from 'whom he asceiH 
tained, as far as she had been initiated imo the mysteries, that 
Maria Monk's descriptions of Canadian Nmmeries, are most 
minutely and undeniably accurate. 

We have already remarked, that Mrs. ♦***, Mr; Lloyd, Mr^ 
Hogan, and Mr. Smith, who was a Papist Priest, with scores 
of other persods who formerly resided in Montreal^ all express 
their unqualified belief of the statements made by Maria Monk. 
Mr. Ogden's acquamtance with the facts, as Attorney General, 

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and that of other officers of the Provincial Groverniaent, h»e 
also bees notrced. The eiMuiiig additiotMl drenmdtaiices am 
of primary importance to a correct estimate of the value which 
should be attached txi the crafty ^ence of the Roman Priests 
and the impttdent denials of infldel profligates. 

Mr. Aonthilber, one of the Montreal magistrates, called at 
Mr. Johnson's housrwhere Maria Monk stayed, in the mosdi 
of August, 1835, when visitmg Moiitreal. 

He addressed her and said: ^ lliere is some mystery abottt 
Novices— What is if? and asked how long a woman mttst be 
a novice before she can take the veST^ Having been answeaedi 
Mr. BoQtbHlier then desired Maria Monk to describe the Sit- 
perior of the Hotel Dieu Nunnery,, As soon as it was done, he 
became enraged, and said—" Vous chtes un mensonge, voqb 
en savez. You lie, you know you do !"— Mr. BonthlOer pflOtt 
inquired— "Was Mr. Tabeau in the Holy Retreat when yon 
left the Convent *?** She answered " Yes." To which be re 
pKed in French— "Anybody might have answered that ques- 
tion." Something having been said about the Hotel Dku 
Nuns being confined to their convent, Mr. BouthilHer declare^ 
that they were allowed to go about the streets, for his wife had 
seen them in the ' streets. He was told that could not be the 
case, for it was a direct violation of the rules for Nuns to de- 
part from the Hotel Dieu Nunnery. He replied-^" Ce n*est 
pas vrai. That is not true." Mr. Bouthillier then became 
very angry, and applied to Uliria Monk some very abusive 
epithets, for which a gentleman in the room reproved him. It 
was evident, that he lost his temper because he had lost his 
argument, and his hopes of contro vexing her statements^ 

On the Lord's day after Maria Monk's arrival in Montreal; 
and when the matter had become well known and much talked 
about, Ph^an, the Priest, at the end of mass, addressed the Pa- 
pists, who were ussembled to hear mass, to this^ct : " There 
is a certain nun in this city who has left our faith, Ind joined the 
Protestants. She has a child <of which she is ready to swear I 
am the father. "She wishes in this way to take my gown from 
mc. If I knew where to find her, I would put her in prison. I 
mention this to guard you against befing deceived by what she 
may say. The Devil now has such hold upon people that there 
is danger lest some might believe her story." He then pretended 
to ^vieep, a nd appeared to be overcome with feeling. A number 
of the people gnthwed around him, and he said ; " That nun is 

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Aatichrist. She is not a human being* but an evil spirit* who 
jfot among the Catholics, and was admitted into the nunnery^ 
where she learned the rules." He also stated, that " in that mm, 
the prophecy respecting the coming of Antichrist is fulfilled, to 
break down the Catholic religion." Such was Phelan's addresi 
to the people. He declared that Maria Monk had been a nun. 
Now he knew her, for he saw her in Montreal, where she could 
not know him. It would have saved all further inquiry and 
research, if, instead of denouncing her after mass, he had mere* 
ly assented to Maria Monk's Rroposition, to be confronted with 
those Roman priests and nuns before impartial witnesses in 
the Hotel Dieu Convent. 

One of the most impressively characteristic circumstances 
which occurred during Maria Monk^s visit to Montreal in Aug. 
1835, was an interview at Mr. Johnson's house vdth a Carpen- 
ter who had heard Phelan's denunciation of Maria Monk after 
mass. Refer to page 307. - 

Th;? heinous destruction of all domestic confidence and of 
all feiudie purity, is known to be the constant and general 
practice, not only in Canada, but in all other Popish countries, 
and among Papists in every part of the world. . For in truth it 
is only fulfilling the authentic dogmas of their own system. 
The following authoritative principles are di\'ulged in thf Cor- 
pus Juris Canonici, which contains the Decretals, Canons, &c, 
of the Popes and Councils ; and other participants of the pre^ 
tended Papal infallibility. " Ifme Pope fall into homicide or 
adultery, he cannot be accused, but is excused by the murders 
of Samson, and the adultery of David." Hugo, Glossa, Dis- 
tinc. 40. Chapter, Non vos.—" Likewise if any Priest is found 
embracing a woman, it must be presupposed and expounded 
that he doth it to bless her !*'— Glossa, Caus. 12. J^uest. 3. 
Chapter Absis. According to the Pope's bull, he who does not 
believe thos^ocftines ia accursed. 

As that Carpenter was completely overcome by the recol- 
lection of tlfe Priest's information and caution about his mar- 
riage, he desisted from any further questions ; but upon Maria 
Monk's declaration, that she was desirous fo go into the con- 
vent, and prove all her accusations against the Priests and 
Nuns, he withdrew. Soon after he returned, and stated, that 
he had been to the Convent, to inquire respecting her ; and 
that he had been informed, that she had once belonged to 
the Nunnery^; but that they would not any longer own or 

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reoognise hear. Afterwards he exhibited the moet contra- 
ditstory emotions, ' afid first cursed Maria Monk: thenrevile^l 
ike Prtests, applying to them alt the loathsome epithets 19 
^ Canadian yocabutary. StAsequently, he went to make in- 
quifies at the Seminary ; and after his return to Mr. Johnson's 
house he declared, that the persons there had informed hinii 
^tat Maria Monk had lived in the Nunnery, but not aa a Nun { 
tJien he offfered to assist her in her endeavours to expose the 
Priests; and finally disappeared, sweating aloud as he was re- 
thing from the bouse ; and apparently thinking over the con* 
duct of the Priest to his wife before their marriage.—" Cftj, sa- 
cre !**— he repeated to himself—** c'est trop mcchant !" 

Similar facts to the above occurred frequently during the 
time of Maria Monk*s visit to Montreal— in which strangers 
who called upon her, cursed and reviled her; then beheved her 
statements and ^sented to them— and displayed all the natu- 
ral excitement which was necessarily comprised in the work- . 
ing of th^ own belief and convictions of the iniquity of the 
Priests, "and the dread resulting from their Own superstitious 
▼assalage, and the certainty of a heavy penance. 

But in connexion with the preceding collateral evidence 
is another remarkable circumstance, which is this : the exten- 
sive knowledge whidi Maria Monk has obtained of the Cana- 
dian Jesuitfi. Those with whom she has been acquainted, she 
affirms, that she could instantly identify, ' For that object^ she 
has given a catalogue of thosflriPriests whose names and per- 
sons are in some degree famiUarly known to her. As the 
Priests are often changing their abodes, and many of them re- 
sidents in Montreal until a vacancy occurs for them in the 
country parishes, in thoie particulars there may be a trifling 
mistime] but Maria Monk solemnly avers, that the PriestSt 
whether dead or livingt who are enumerated in the subsequent 
catalogae, either have dwelt or do yet reside in i\0 places spe- 
cified. When unexpectedly and closely examined in reference 
to the Priests of the same name, she particularly distinguished 
them, and pointed out the difference between them in their 
persons, gait, &c. ; &us precluding all objection fVom the fact 
of there being more than one Priest with a similar appellative. 
This circumstance particularly is illustrated by thePriestsnamed 
Marcoux, of whom she says there are three brothers or first 
cousins— two called Dufresne, &c. ; each of whom she graph- 
ically depicts. It is also certain, because she has done it in 

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a great vaxiety of instances, and in the presence of many dif- 
ferent persons, all of whom are well acquainted with them, 
that she describes Lartigue; Dufresne; Richard; Phelan; 
iBonin; Comte; Bourget; McMahon ; Kelly ; DemerB;Roux; 
Roque; Sauvage; Tabeau; Marcoux; Morin; Durocher; 
ind all the Roman Priests around Montreal, with the utmost 
minuteness of accuracy ; while the Chaplain of the UrsuUno 
Nunnery at Quebec, Father Dauld, is as exactly depicted by 
her, as if her whole life had been passed under his surveU' 
iance>, Some of the appellatives in the ensuing catalogue may 
not be correctly ^^elt. Scarcely any thing is more difficult 
than to acquire proper names in a foreign language ; and es- 
pecially where the pronunciation itself is provincial, as is the 
case with Canadian French ; and when also those titles have 
to be transcribed from the mouth of a person who knows no 
more of orthoepy and orthogr^hy than a Canadian Nun. 
However, Maria Monk attests, that the Priests to whom she re- 
fers did reside at those places which she has designated, and 
that she has seen them all in the Hotel Dieu Nunnery— some 
of them very often, and others on a variety of occasions. 

Nothing is more improbable, if not impossible, than that 
any Papist girl should have such an extensive acquaintance 
among Roman Priests. In Canada especially, where the large 
majority of females have little more correct knowledge of that 
which occurs out of their own district than of Herschel's as^ 
tronomical discoveries, young women cannot be personally 
familiar with any Priests, in ordinary cases, except those who 
may have been " Cures" of the parish m which they reside, or 
of the immediate vicinity, or an occasional visiter during the 
absence, or sickness, or death of the resident Curate or Mis- 
tionary. Notwithstanding, Maria Monk delineates to the life, 
the prominent features, the exact figure, and the obvious char- 
acteristic exterior habits and personal appearance of more than 
Bne hundred and fifty of those Priests, scattered about in all 
parts of Gimada. Among others she particularly specifies the 
fi^owii% men ; but some of whom she notes as dead. Others 
■he has named, but as her recollections of them are less dis- 
tinct, they are not enumerated. 

Jean Jacques Lartigue, Bishop of Telmese, Montreal Tho 

Irish Priest McMahon, who has resided both in Montreal and 

Quebec. M. Dufresne, St. Nicholas. L. Cadieux, Vicar 

General, T%ree Rivers. E. F. Marcoux, Maskinonge. S. N. 


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Dumoulin, Yamachiehe. A. Leclerc, Yonnaska. V. Fourniet, 
Bale du Fehre. J. Demers, St Oregvire. C. E. Courtain, 
OentUly. T. Pepin, St. Jean, Ignaee Bourget, Montreal. 
The PricBt Moore, Misnonary. J. C. Prince, Montreal. J. 
M. Sauvage, Montreal. J. Comte, Montreal. J. H. A. Rou2, 
Vicar Grcneral, Montreal. J. Roque, Montreal. A. Malard, MoU' 
treat. A. L. Hubert, 3fon/rca/. A. Satin, Mm^wtZ. J. B.Roupe, 
Montreal. Nic. Dnfresne, Montreal. J. Richard, iMbn/reo/. 
C. Pay, Montreal. J. B. St Pierre, Montreal. P, Bonin, 
P. Phelan, Montreal. T. B. M'Mahon, Perce. J. Marcotiz, 
Caghnawaga, CX De BdiefeuUle, jLa/:« o^ TW 3fctt7i^ain*. 
Claude Leonard, Montreal. P. Durocher, IxiArc q/" ftro 3foun- 
tains. G. Belmont, S/. Prancis. F. Demers, Vicar (General, 
St. Denis. J. O. Giroux, St. Benoit. J. B. St. Germain, St. 
Laurent. J. D. Delisle, St. Ceeaire. J. M. Lefebvre, St. Gen- 
tvieve. P. Pigeon, St. Philippe. A. Duransau, Lachine. O. 
Chevrefils, St. Constant. Joseph Cluiblier, Montreal Pran- 
cis Humbert, Montreal. J. Arraud, Montreal. O. Archam- 
bault, Montreal. J. Laikin, Montreal. P. Sery, Montreal. R. 
Larre, MoTitreal. A. Macdonald, Montreal. P. Larkin, Mm- 
lr«a/. J. Beauregard, Montreal. R. Robert, Montreal. J. 
PitK Patrick, Montreal. J. Toupin, Montreal W. Baun, 
JWonirca/. T. Piliatreault, Montreal J. Brady. Montreal. 
P. Trudel, S<. Hyacinth. John Grant, iS!^. HyacinSu J. De- 
!aire, Chambly. J. Desautels, Chambly. P. D. Ricard, /®. 
Joachim. Jan. Leclaire, /j?Zc Je«u«. P. M. Turcot, iSf. i?o90. 
C. Larocque, Berthier. T. Brassard, jSK. Elizabeth. J. B. 
Keller, iS*/. Elizabeth. J. Ravienne, Lanorate. J. T. Gagno, 
Valtrie. Gasford Guinguer, St. Melanie. L. Nicholas 
Jacques, St. Sulpice. J. Renucalde, 5!f. Jacques. T. Can, jSf. 
Esprit. C. J. Ducharme, Slf. Therest. J. Valli^ iS^. Scholaa- 
iigue. J. S. Vinet, ArganteuU. M. Power, Beanhamois. J. 
B. Labelle, Chateauguay. E. Bietz, iSSf. Constant P. Bedard, 
S^. /?«mt. C. Aubry, Sf. Athanase. L. Vinet, Noyon. J. 
Roque, Noyon. J. Zeph, Carrm. P. Berault, Sie. Fo/eniia, 

A. Maresseau, Longueuil P. Brunet, . J. Odetin, 

BounilH. J. B. Dupuis, . L. Nau, RtmviUe. A. O. 

Giroux, /Slf. Afarc. G. Marchesseau, . J. B. Belanger, 

St. Ours. H. Marcotte, Isle du Pads. E. Crefvier, Yamaska. 
G. Arsonault, . Eusebe Durocher, . D. Den- 
is, St. Rosalie. P. X. Brunet, St. Damase. J. A. Boisond, 
St. Pie M. Quintal, St. Damase. L. Aubry, PoinU Claire. 

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P. Tetro, Beavhamoia. B. Rieard, SL Constant, M. Morin, 
MoMhrnche, J. CreTier, BUUrJindU,, P. Qrenier« CJuUtanguoff, 
A, Durocher, Painte aux TrembUa. P. Mercure, La Presen" 
tation, R. Gaulin, Dorduater, H. L. Qirouard. St, Bya- 
cinthe, J. Paquin. Blairjlndie, E. Brassard, St, Poly-' 
carpe, J. Boissonnault, River e dea Prairies, F. N. Blan- 
cfa«t, Soulangea. £. Lavoie, Blairjindie,. J. B. Kelly, Sorei^ 
E. Morriset, jSif. Cyprian, H. Hudon, Argenttuil, M. Brudet» 
iSSt. Margin. P. P. Archambault, Vatuireuil, J, B. Boucher, 
La Prairie, J. QueviUoo, S^. Oura, A, Chaboillez, Longu- 
miL P. J. Delamothe, St^ Scholaatique, T. Lagard, St^ 
Vincent, J, Durocher, St, Benoit, Antoine Tabeau, Vicar 
General, Montreal, J. F. Hebert, St. Oura, F. A, Trudeau, 
Montreal, M. J. Felix, St, Benoit, L. Lamothe, Berthier,, 
J, Moirier, St^ Anne, F, J, Deguise, Vicar G^eral, Varen- 
nee, J, B. Bedard, St. Denia. R. O. Brunsap, Verckerea, F. 
Portier, Ttrrehoanne, P. D. Ricard, Berthier, L. Gagne, Lacke- 
naie, Joseph Belanger, Chamhby, M. Blanchet, St. CharUa, 
P. M. Ifignault, Chambly, F. Li^belle VAaaumption, F- 
Marcoux, St, Burthelemi, N^ L. Amiot, Bepentiguy. J, B. 
Boucher, Chambly, P. Lafranc, St, Jtan BapHate, P. Robi- 
taille, Monnie, F. De Bellefeuille, St, Vincent, M, Brassard, 
St. EUzaboth, P. C:k>U8igny, St. Mathiaa, J. D. Dauld. 

It is readily admitted, that any person could take one of the 
Ecclesiastical Registers of Lower Canada, and at his option 
mark any number of the Roman Priests in the catalogue, and 
impute to them any crime which he pleased. But if the accu- 
ser were closely examined, and among such a multitude of 
Priests, who in all their clothing are dressed ahke, were called 
upon minutely to delineate them, it is morally impossible, that 
he could depict more than a hundred Priests dispersed from the 
borders of Upper Canada to Quebec, in as many different pa- 
rishes, with j^e most perfect accuracy, unless he was personally 
and well acquainted with them. 

Maria Monk, however, does most accurately describe all the 
Priests in the preceding catalogue, and repeats them at the ex- 
piation of weeks and months ; and the question is this : how 
18 it possible that she could hare become acquainted with so 
many of that body, and by what means can she so precisely de- 
pict their external appearance '7— The startling, but the only 
plausible answer which can be given to that question is this :— 

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that the htts seen them in the Nunnery, whhher, as fa.<e main- 
tains, most of them constantly resorted for hcentioaa inteP' 
course with the Nuns. 

One other connected fact may here be introduced. Maria 
Monk well knows the late Lady Superior of the Charlestown 
Nunnery. That acquaintance could not have been made in the 
United States, because Saint Mary St. George as she called 
herself, or Sarah Burroughs, daughter of the notorious Stephen 
Burroughs, as is her real name, removed to Canada at the latter 
end of May, 1885 ; nor could it have been prior to the establish- 
meat of the Charlestown Nunnery, for at that period Muia 
Monk was a child, and was not in any Convent exc^t mer^ 
as a scholar ; and Mary St G^rge was at Quebec How 
then did she become so familiar with that far-famed Lady as 
to be able to describe her so exactly? The only answer is» 
that ^e derived her knowledge of the Charlestown Convent 
and of its Superior, from the intimations given, and from in- 
tercourse with that Nun in the Hotel Dieu Convent 

Young females often have been sent to the Nunneries in 
Canada under the fiillacious hope of obtaining for th^n a su- 
perior education; and very frequently, they are suddenly r»- 
moved alter being there but a short period ; because the per- 
sons to whose partial guardianship they are committed per* 
ceive that they are in danger of being ensnared by the Chiq[>Iaiia 
and his female Syrens. 

But there are two other particulars in American Nunneries^ 
the toleration of which almost surpasses credibility. 

In reference to giris, they are permitted to visit their friend«» 
even when they reside in the vicinity of the Convent, only for 
an hour or two monthly— if their relatives are at a distanoeb 
they see them only during the annual vacation, and ofren re- 
main in the Nunnery during that term.— No correspondence is 
permitted between tiie mother, the guardian, the sister, or the 
friends « f the young female in the Nunnoy School, on either 
side, witr.out the inspection of the argus-eyed agent of the In- 
stitutk>n. Parental advice, filial complaints, and confidential 
communications are equally arrested ; and only ftimish to the 
Superiors of the establishments, artifices to thwart the Seniors^ 
to entacgle the Juniors, and efiectaally to cajole both partiea. 
Consegiently, it generally happens, that fix>m one term to an- 
other, little or no intercourse exists between the youth and her 
relatives ; and it is indubitable, that where any letters do no- 

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Bunally ifttsa between theoi, they are forgeries ; the real letters 
being surreptiuoas]/ detained. Those felonions regulaticlhs 
furnish ample scope for the initiation of girls just enteriag upon 
womanhood, into all the wickedness of the Nunnery : while 
the e^ls themselves are unconscious of the design, and the 
Nuns, those nefarions artificers of the iniquity, in subserviency 
to the Priests, in case of necessity, can exculpate themselves 
apparently from aU participation in the treachery and crimes* 

In the nunneries and conventual schools iQ the United States 
there is a sort of fairy land^ talked about by the nuns to the 
elder girls. It is called the " Ntma* Island." That countkgr is 
alwayfrdescribed as an earthly paradise; and to girls wlw ate 
manifestly fascinated by the witcheries of the nuns, and in 
whom moral sensibility has become blunted by the unmeaning 
superstitions which they witness, and which they mechanically 
pei!form« a visit X6 the " Nuna' Island" is alifi^ys proposed as 
the greatest privilege, and the most costly reward, whjoh can 
be given for constant obsequiousness to the nuns, and unre- 
served compliance with their requirements. The term " Nun^ 
Island^" is thus used to express the nunneries in Canada, and 
probably some mmilar institutions in the JJnited States, where 
they are not too difficult of access. At all events, girls just en- 
tering upon the character of women, after proper training, are 
finally gratified with a visit to the *' Nuns^ Island." They are 
taken to Montreal, and in the nunneries there are at once 
taught " the mystery of iniquity f in all the living reahty which 
Maria Monk descaribes. Those girls from the United States, 
who are represented as novices, in Maria Monk^s '' Awful Dis- 
closures," page 154, were young ladies from the Unite^ States, 
who had been decoyed to visit the " Nuns* -Island^" and who, 
not being Papists, often were found very intractable ; but pos- 
terior circumstances enforce the belief^ that having found re- 
nstance vain, they had not returned to their school ere they 
were duly qualified to continue the course into which they had 
been coerced, so as fally to elude all possibility of discovery and 
exposure. That mother who intrusts her daughter to a nun- * 
nery school, is chargeable with the high crime of openly con* 
ducting her into the chambers of pollution, and the path to irre- 
ligion, and the bottomless pit. 

These combined circumstances satisfactorily prove that the 
narrative of Maria Monk should be believed by all impartial per- 
sons ; at ^east, until other evidence is adduced, and the ofier 

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d54 APPEN0IX. 

of 4Xt>k>nng t\m Hotel Dieu Nunnery, by the New-fork ProM 
testant Aiseciation, baa been accepted and decided. 

3. Ad^tional eyMimce of the truth of Maria Monk's namUive 
is deduced from the exact conformity o/the facts which aks statet 
comeming the Botd Dieu Nunnery^ when compared with Ae 
authoritative principles oj the Jesuit Priesthood as recorded 
ih the^ own duly sanctioned volumes. It is essential to remark, 
that of those books she knows itothing; that she has never 
seen one of them, and if she could grasp them, that they woidd 
impart no illumination to her mind, being in Latin ; and yet ia 
maory momentous parttcakra, ndther Lartigue nor any one of 
th*^ Jesuit Priests now in Montreal, who was educated in 
France, could more minutely and accurately fumith an expo* 
MoA or practical illustration of the atrocious themes, than 
Maria Monk has unconsciously done. 

Maria Monk** "Awful Disclosures," are reducible to thr«e 
classes: intolerable sensuality ; diversified murder; aodmoct 
scandalous mendacity ; comprehending flagrant, andobdurate^ 
and unceasing violations of the sixth, seventh, and ninth com* 

The ninA commamfment : Falsbhood. Of this baseiieM, 
five specimens only shall sufiice. 

Sa^ichezy a very renowned author, in Ms work on '* Morality 
ftnd the Precepts of the Decalogue," part 2, bobk 3, chap. 6, no. 
13, thus decides f ^ A person may take an oath that hohas not 
done any certain thing, though hi fact he has. This is extremely 
Convenient, andis also veryfusit when necessary to your healthy 
honour, and prosperity V^ Charli in his Propontions, no. 6, af- 
firms that- "He who is not bound to state ^e truth before 
swearing, is not bound by his oath." Tahetna m his vol. % 
pnt 2, tract 2, chap. 31, p. 288, asks : "Is a witness bound to 
declare the truth before a lawful judge?" To which he replies : 
"No, if his deposition will injure himself or his posterity." Lay^ 
. mahn in his works, book 4, tract 2, chap. 2, p. 78, proclaims^ 
" It is not sufficient for an oath, that we use ti^e fomud word«i 
If we have not the intention and will to swear, and do not sin* 
csrely invoke God as a witness." All those principles are sanc- 
tioned hf^'^uarez in his "Precepts of Law," book 3, chap. 9, 
assertion 13, p. 473, w^iere he eays, " If any one has promised or 
contracted without intention to promiso, and is called upon oath 
to answer, may simply answer, no ; and may swear to that 

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Tb» idea^of obtammg tniUi, therefore, from a ^prough-goiitf 
Papist, upon any subject in which his ''honour" is concerned— 
and every Papist's honour is indisaohibiy conjoined with "the 
Church''— is an absurdity so gr^t, that it cannot be listened to 
with patience, while the above deciaionB are the authorized d<V* 
mas which the Romim Priests inculcate among their folio wei;8. 
How weH the nuns of Montreal have imlnbed those Jesu^jacal 
instructions, MariaMonk's "Awful Disclosures" amply reteaL 

The Siapth CkmvmandmerU : Mubdeb. The following mis« 
eellaneous decisions are exoracted from the wortis of the regu- 
larly sanctioned Romish authors, of the very hif^iest chara^sr 
and rank in that community. 

In his famous volume c^led "Aphorisms," p. 178, Envman;* 
uel Sa writes—" You may kill any pwson whoinay be able to 
put you to death— judge and witnesses^becaose it is sdf^de* 

ffenriqwzt in his " Sum of Moral Thedogg^'' vol. 1, book 14, 
chap* 10, p. 869, decides that "a Priest is not oiminal, if he kill 
the husband of a woman with whom he is caught in adultery." 

AirauU published a number of propositions. One of them 
says, that "a person may secretly kill anotjier who atten^>t9 to 
destroy his reputation, although the facts are true ifidiich he puln 
lished." The following must he cited in Latin. " An licitum 
sit muli^ procurare abortum 7 Posset ilium excutere, neho- 
norem suum amittat, qui ilti multo pretiosior est ipsa vita." 
" Au liceat mulieri conjugatse sumere i)harmacum steriUtatial 
Ita satius est ut hoc fodat, quam ut marito d^itum conjijf^e 
recuset." Censures 319, 323, 837. 

In his Moral Theology, vol 4, book 32, sec. 2, problen^ 6, jE7»- 
cobar determines, that " it is lawful to kill an accuser whose 
testimony may jeopard your life and honour." 

Guimaiius promulged his seventh Proposition in these 
words : " You may charge your opponent with false crimes to 
destroy his credit; and you may also kill him." 

Marin wrote a work called " Speculative and Moral The- 
ology." In vol, 3, tract 23, disputation 8, sec. 6, no. 63, p. 448, 
are found the following sentences : " Licet pro6urare abortum, 
ne 4>uella infametur.'^ That doctrine is admitted, " 19. evade 
personal disgrace, and to conceal tk* infamy of'Monk^ and 
Nuna." No. 67, p. 429. In no. 75, p. 430, of the same .wprk, : 
Marin writes: "Navarrus, Arragon^ Bannez> Henriquez, Sa, : 
Saftchas, Palao, and others, aU say, that a weman may usa ; 

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856 AFFKIf»tX 

BOt onlf mimioBe MDgiiiina, ted ftliit medieaHieiitifl, eta inde 
pereat fctas." With that doctrine also agrees Sgidiu*^ in bia 
*'£zpHcation of the JDecalogne," vol. 6^ book 6, ebap. l, doubt 
4 ; and Diana in his work upon Morality, part 6, tract 8, resolu- 
tion 37, fully ratifies his sanction. 

Oobattu published a work which he entitled, " Morality/' and 
in Tol. 2i part 2, tract 5, chap. 9, sec. 8, p. 328, is the following 
•difying specimen of Popish morals : "Persons may innocent- 
Vf desire to be drunk, if any great good will arise from it. A 
son who inherits weahh by his father's death, may rejoice that 
wllten he was intoxicated, he murdered his father.'* According 
10 tHiich combined propositions, a man may make bimeetf drunk 
expressly to kill his parent, and yet be guiltless. 

Busenbaum wrote a work denominated " Moral Theology,'^ 
which was enlarged and explained by Lacroix, In toI. 1, p. 
296, is the foUs wing position : "In all the cases where a man 
has ft^ght to kill any person, anoUier may do it for him." But 
we have already heard by Escobar that any Roman Priest has 
a fight to kill Maria Monk ; and therefore any Papist may mtur^ 
dtr her for them. « 

Alagoruii in his f* Compend of the Sum of Theology,*' by 
Thomas Aquinas, question 94, p. 280^ " Sums" up all the Ro^ 
mish system in this comprehensively blasphemous oracular 
adage. ^^Byttu command of God^ it i» lattful to mttrder Ae 
innocenii to rob, and to commit lewdnet ; and timo to fulfil hit 
mandate, is our dufy,** 

TTu seventh commandment. — In his Aphorisms, p. 80, and 
p. 299, Sa thus decides— " Copulari ante benedictionem, aut 
nullum aut leve peccatum est ; quin etiam expedit, si nraltnm 
ilia diiferatur."—" Potest et femina quaeque, et mas, pro turpi 
corporis usu, pretium accipere et petere." 

fittrtodo issued a volume oi " Disputations and Difficulties." 
At p. 476, is the following genuine Popish rule of Hfe— "Car- 
nal intercoursje before marriage is not unlawful." So teaches 
that Jesuit oracle. 

DicastiUOf in his work upon " Righteonsness and other car- 
nal Vu^ues," p. 87, thus asks—" An pudla, quae per vin op- 
^ppiitur tenea tur clamare et opem implorare ne violetur 7" The 
tnawinr is this^" Non videtur teneri impecUre peccatum alteriua 

'^ed miffe passive se habere." 
"'^oobar^ in his " Moral Theology," p. 326, 927, 828, of voL 
I ^t "a man who abduott a womaa firoai aAo* 

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tion expressly to marry her, is guilty of mofttl sin, but a Priest 
who forcibly violates het through lust, incurs no censure." 

Tambnrin unfolds the character of Romanism in his "Mo- 
ral Theology," p. 186, in a lengthened discussion of the follow- 
ing characteristic inquiry— " Quantum pro nsu corporis am 
juste exigat mulier ?**— The reply is, ** de meretrice -et de femi- 
na honesta sive conjugata, aut non." 

Fegdi wrote a 'book of ** Practical Questions ;" and on p. 
397, is the following—" Under what obligation is he who defiles 
ft virgin 1"— The answer is this— ** Besides the obligation of 
penance, he incurs none ; quia pu^a habet jus usum sui cor- 
poris concedendi" 

Truckala published a volume which he facetiously entitled 
the *' Laver of Conscience ;" and at p. 90, he presents ns with 
this astounding recipe to purify the conscience—" An Coneubi- 
nariussit absolvendus antequam concubinam dimittatT' Td 
which he replies—** Si ilia concubina sit valde bona et utilis eco- 
noma, et sic nullam aliam possit habere, esset absolvendus." 

From the prior decisions, combined with numberless otiiers 
which might be extracted from the works of the Romish au- 
thors, it is obvious, that the violations of the seventh command- 
ment, are scarcely enumerated by the Papal priesthood among 
venial sins. Especially if we consider the definition of a pros- 
titute by the highest Popish authority; for in the Decretals, 
Distinction 34, in the Gloss, is found this savory adage—'* Me- 
retrix est, qus admiserit plures quam viginti tria hominum mil^^ 
Ha !" That is the infallible attestation to the truth of Maria 
Monk's ** Awful Disclosures." 

4. The antecedent narrative of the Hotel Dieu Nunnery, i» 
confirmed by the universal and constant practice of Roman 
Priests in all Convents* Among the works of William Hunt- 
ington, is a correspondenee between himself and a young lady 
who was converted by his ministry. The seventh letter from 
Miss M. contains *the following passage :— 

** /if {« a »hAitu for women to approach thooo eonfeanonaU. 
If they were never wise in scenes of iniquity before, the Priest 
will instruct them, by asking the most filthy questions. I waa 
confined to ray bed three days firom my first confiassion ; and 
thought I would never go again, being so abashed by the abom- 
inations he had put in my head. I would just as Boon recom- 
mend scalding water to cure Anthony's-fire, or a wet bed in an 
ice-house to cure an ague, as recommend a sinner to those ac- 

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cnrwd lies, Roman penance, and Auricular Confe8n<m."— 
The mental pimty of Nuns consists in a life totally " contrary 
to the laws of Qod,^ of modesty, and decency. They are con- 
stantly exposed to the obscene interrogations, and the lewd 
actions of the Pnests^ Notwithstanding Gh)d has fixed a bar 
on every female mind, it is broken through by the Priests pat- 
ting questbns to them upon those subjects, as the scripture de- 
clares, which ought not to be named I The uncommon attrac- 
tions of the young women in Convents generally indicate the 
greatest unchastity among them. I have known girls, sent for 
education to the Convent where I was, who regularly stripped 
themselves of every thing they could obtain from their friends ; 
which, by the artful insinuations of the Nuns, was given to 
them and the Priests. The Roman priesthood may well be 
called a sorceress, and their doctrine ' the wine of fornication,* 
for nothing but the powers of darkness could work up the 
young female mind to receive it; unless by the subtlety oif the 
devil, and the vile artifices of the Nuns. 1 shudder at the idea. 
of young ladies going into a Convent ; and also ait parents who 
send their children to be educated in a Nunnery ; where th^ 
daughters ase entrapped by the Nuns into the snare of the 
Priests, with whom they are accomplices, and for whom the 
most subtle of them are decoys, whose feigned sanctity is only 
a cover for the satanic arts of which they are complete mis- 
tresses, and by which, through the delusions of the mother of 
harlots, being buried alive within the walls of a Convent, they 
* drink of the wineof her fornication,' until their souls pass into 
the pit of destruction."— The above extract is from the seventh 
letter of " Correspondence between Mi^ M. and Mr. H." in 
Huntington's Works ; and exposed the Nunneiies in France. 

George D. Emeline, who had been a Popish Priest, in his 
"Eight Letters," giving an account of his "Journey into 
Italy," thus details the nature of the intimacy which then ex- 
isted between the Priests and Nuns on the £ur(]i>ean Continents 
" A young Monk at Milan, Preacher to the Benedictine Nuns, 
when he addressed them, added to almost every sentence uk 
his discourse, * my most dear and lovely sisters, whom I love 
fiora the deepest bottom of my heart' When a monk becomes 
Preacher or Ch^lain to a Nunnery, his days are passed in con- 
stant voluptuousness i for the Nuns will gratify th^ Conjfoe- 
sor in every thing, that he may be equally indulgent to themJ* 
— Bmeline's I^etters, p. 313* 

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" A regular Abbot of a Monastery in Italy, talking with me, 
«aid— * Melius est habere nullam quam aliquera— It is better to 
haY« none than any woman.* I asked him what he meant ; 
he replied, *^recaU8e, when a person is not tied to one, he may 
make use of many :* and his practice was conformable to his 
doctiine j for he slept in the same bed with three young women 
every night. He was a most insatiable Exactor and Oppressor 
of the people who rented the lands of the Abbey ; in conse- 
quence of which the Farmers complained of him to the-Arch- 
bishop of the District. The Archbishop sent the Provost, the 
Farmers, and sixty of the Serjeants at night, to seize him and 
.iiis female companions. They took the Abbot in bed, and hav- 
ing put on him a morning-gown ; and having tied his three 
cuncubines and himself back to back, placed them in a cart, end 
conducted -them to the Archbishop^s residence, in Bonnonia : 
who then refused to judge him ; but sent him and his females 
to the Monastery of Saint Michael ; into which, with some 
difl&cnlty, he was admitted after midnight, in consequence of 
the Provost assuring the Friars, that if they would not receive 
the Abbot, they would procure his prelatical dress, and escort 
him and the young women in procession through the city, and 
back to his own Monastery the same day at noon. The fe- 
males were ordered away, and the Abbot was appointed to re- 
main in his monastery for fifteen days for penance, until the 
story had ceased to circulate. I was an eyewitness of that 
myself, when I was in the Monastery of St. Michael in the 
wood."— Emeline*s Letters, pp. 387, 388, 389. 

That the Nunneries in Portugal, as well as among those 
people in India who are subject to the Romish priesthood, are of 
the same character precisely, as Maiia Monk describes the 
Priests and Nuns in Canada, is proved by Victorin de Faria, 
who had been a Brahman In India ; and who afterward resided 
as a Roman Priest in the Paulist Monastery at Lisbon. 

" The regular Priests in India," says Faria, " have become 
what the bonzes where at Japan. The Nuns were the disci- 
ples of Diana, and the nunneries seragUos for the monks ; as 
I have proved to be the case in Lisbon, by facts concerning 
those nuns who were more often in the family way than com- 
mon women. The Jesuits in the Ihdies made themselves 
Brahmans in order to enjoy the privileges of that caste» whose 
idolatrous rites and superstitious practices they also externally 
adopted."— Among other privBeges which they poisewed, Fa^ 

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jia enomeratM the IbUowiag, as detailed from his own prioir 
experience as a Brahman. " Never to be pot to death for any 
crime whatever ; and to enjoy the favonra of every woman who 
pleased them, for a Priest sanctifies the woman npon whom he 
bestows his attentions.*' That is the true Papist doctrine, as 
shown by Maria Monk's *' Awful Disclosures s" ednfirmed by 
the Canadian carpenter in Ifr. Johnson's house at Montreal ; 
and ratified by Pope Gregory XIII. in tlie Decretals and Ca^ 
nons, in the Corpus Juris CanonicL — Secrets of Nunneries dis- 
closed by Scipio de Ricct p. 217* 

The Nunneries in Italy during the present generation are of 
the same description. Maria Catharine Barni, Maria Mag- 
dalen Sicini, and Victoire Benedetti, of the Nunnery called 
Santa Croce; all adLuowledged, that they had been seduced 
at confession, and that they had habitually maintained crimi- 
nal intercourse with a Priest called Pacchiani, who absolved 
his guilty companions after the oommission of their crimes.*- 
Secrets of Nunneries disclosed' by Scipio de RiccL pp. 60. 61. 

Six Nuns of the Convent of Catharine at Pistoia declared, 
that the Priests who visited the Convent committed a ** thou- 
sand indecorous acts. They utter the worst expressions, say- 
ing that we should look upon it as a great happiness, that we 
have the power of satisfying our appetites without the annoy 
ance of children; and that we should not hesitate tatake our 
pleasures. Men, who have contrived to get the k^s, come 
into the Convent during the night, which they have spent in 
the most dissipated manner." That is the precise delineation 
of the Canadian Nunneries; into which other men besides 
Priests are admitted, if the parties are willing to pay the en- 
trance bribe to the Chaplain.— Secrets of Nunneries, by Scipio 
de RiccL pp. 80, 81. 

Flavia Perraccini, Prioress of the Nunnwy of Catharine of 
Pistoia, revealed what she knew of that and other Nunneries. 
All the Priests " are of the same eharacter.. They all have the 
same maxims and the same conduct. They are on more inti- 
mate terms with the Nuns than if they were married to them. 
It is the same at Lucia, at Pisa, at Prato, and at Perugia. The 
Superiors do not know even the smallest part of the enormous 
wickedness that goes on between the Monks and the Nuns."— 
Secrets of Nunneries, by Scipio de Ricci. p. ^3. That statement 
is so exactly conformed to Maria Monk's " Awful Disclosures," 
that were it not a fact that she had never seen Scipio de Ricci's 

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RBYISW OF ^ilE WlidLS SlfB^BCT. ^61 

work, it might almost be sv.pposed that eome part of her nar- 
ilitive had been transcribed from it. 

Poggini of Rome, also wrote to Scipio de Ricci and mform- 
ed him— '^I know a monastery in which a Jesuit used to make^ 
the Nuns lift up their clothes, assuring ih€m that they thereby 
performed an act of virtue, because they overcame a natural 
repugnance."~Secrets of Nunneries, p. 101. That is a very 
^ittraordinary illustration of the turpitude of the R«man priest- 
hood ;— -because that dbctrine is a principle which they con- 
•tantiy inculcate; and such is the mvaViable practice in the 
Hotel Dieu Nunnery.' that the Nuns were obliged to fulfil, for 
the beastly gratification of the Roman Priests who vi«ted that 
house, which is " the way to hell, going down to the chambers 
ofdeath.** Proverbs?: 27. 

It is superfluous to multiply similar extracts. Scipjo de Ricd 
was a Popish prelate, regularly commissioned by the Grand 
Duke of Tuscany to explore the Nunneries j and in conse- 
<iuence of his authentic developments, the Jesuits and Domini- 
cana, and the dignified Papal ecclesiastics, with the two Popes, 
Plus VI. and Piua VII. all opposed, reviled, condemned, and 
worried him almost to death. 

One quotation mote shall cloce this survey. Pope Paul III. 
maifitah^ed at Rome, forty-five thousand courtesans. Pope 
Sixtus IV. ordered a number of edifices to be erected expressly 
for the accomodation of the semi-Nuns of Rome, from whos^ 
impurity he derived a large annual revenue, under the form of a 
license ; besides which, the prices of absolution for the different 
violations of the seventh commandment are as regularly fixed 
as (he value of beads, soul-maspes, blessed water, and every 
Other article of Popish manufacture.— Paolo, Hist. Couijcil do 
Trerit. Book I. Anno 1637. 

• The prece<fing observations, it is believed, will remove the 
tToiibts from the mind of every impartial inquirer, respecting the 
credibBhy of Maria Monk's narrative : nevertheless, a few adr 
ditional remarks may not be irrelevant : especially as there i^ a 
marvellous skepticism in reference to the admission of valid 
testimony concerning the Roman priesthood, their system and 
practice. We are deafened with clamour for proof to aubatan- 
tiafe Maria Monk's history; but that demand is lantaraouot to 
the declaration—" I will not believe.'* 

In anticipation of speedy der^th, and an immediate appear- 
ance *»♦ ♦^r irertd t^^''-^*' of Jehovah, Maria Monk coi' 'uiica- 

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36^ A9Pmsm3L. 

tad to Mr. Tappan. the Chaplain at Bellevue, ofte of the be- 
neyolenf institotions belonging to the city of New York, the 
I>rineq>al facta in her '* Awful Disclosures." After her unex- 
pected recoyery, she personally appeared at Montreal, expreaaly 
and openly, to promulge her Allegations of atrocioua crimes 
against the chief Ron) an Ecdesiasticd in that city, who were 
armed with power, and having nearly all the population her 
hifbriated enemies. There she remained almost four weeka, 
constantly daring the Roman Prieats and Nona in yain. It is 
true, Dr. Robertson in his affidavit says, that he was wilUos 
"to take the necessary steps for a fiill investination, if & direct 
<^uurge were made against any particular individual of a crimi- 
nal nature.*' Now if Maria Monk's chains are not direct. 


— what charges can be so characterized 1 The fiact is this : — 
Dr. Robertson would no more dare to issue a warrant for the 
apprehenmon (^ Lartigue, or any of the inferior Roman Priests 
In Montreal, than he would dare publicly to strike the Com- 
mander of the Garrison, or the Governor of Canada upon mil- 
itary pidrade. If any Papist had stated to him the same facts 
concerning a Protestant, or Protestant Minister, imd o&red 
to «enfirm them by his worthless oath, he would have issued 
his process at once; but Dr. Robertson knows, that in the 
present state of Canadian society, Roman Priests can do what 
they please i and no man dares to reprove, much less to " take 
any necessary steps for a full investigation*' of their crimes. II 
the Jesuits and Nuns at Montreal are anxious for a full and 
impartial scrutiny of the Hotel Dieu Convent, Maria Monk is 
nady to oblige them with some facilities for that object; pro- 
vided she may 4»rry them out to all ihpir extent and appli- 
cation. Mr. Ogden has one affidavit, and knows the whole 
matter; as can incontestably be proved by Mr. A. P. Hart, an 
Attorney of Montreal ; and we recommend Dr. Robertson to 
issue his wmrant for the iM[>prehension of Lartigue, Benin, Du- 
fresne, and Richards, they are enough to begin with ; and if 
Mr. C^den wfll carry the facts with which he is aci|uainted to 
the Grand Jury, one witness in New York is ready to i^* 
pear; and Dr. Robertson vdll find his hands full of employ*- 
ment, if he will only " take the necessary steps" to procure two 
or three other persons who shall be pointed out to him in the 
Hotel Dieu Nunnery. Therefore, until Dr. Robertson com- 
mences some incipient measures as a Magistrate, towards '* the 

d by Google 


necessary steps for ft full investigation," as he say^ we sinll 
be forced tabelieye, that the printer made a mistake ii^ his affi- 
davit, and pnt willing for iinwUling. 

The cavilling call* however, for additional evidfiRce to be ad- 
duced by Maria Monk, is manifestly futile. That testimony 
is within the jurisdiction of ^e Priests afohe who are crimina- 
ted. Maria Monk reiterates her charges agflinst the Romish 
Ecclesiastics of Canada and their Kuns$ and has solemnly 
sworn th^ they are true. What more can she do 1^ ^hat 
more can be required of herl Nothing, but to search the premt- 
te«, to see whether the statements which she has made are ecn^ 
not, A Committee of tbel^w- York Protestant Associatioaaic 
willing to accompany her to Montreal ; to walk through the 
Hotel Dieu Nunnery in company with any Gentleman of Mon- 
treal, and mrestigate the truth withoint fevottT c% partiality: Mft- 
na Monk is wilting to submit the whole tUTahr to thsct short, and 
easy, and sensible test ; in which there is no possibility of de- 
ception. It does not depend upon credibility of witnesses, con- 
flicting evidence, personal friendsliip, or i^igioa» prejudices; 
it is lanced At once to that unerring criterion, 1/^ 9igH ^md 

But, it is retorted, that will not be granted ; then we repeat 
another proposal, let the Priest Conioy ebme fortl»^rded in 
idl the puioply of the Roman ;court, and appeaf as the cbam* 
pion of the Canadian Jesuits ; let him institute an action, civil 
or criminal, or both, against the publishers of such atrocious 
crimes, which, as they pretend, are fala^ aReged against the 
Roman Priests. If Lartigne and his MontriMd inferior -priests 
are impticated in tl^e most nefarious felonies, Maria Monk has 
published him as a virtual accomplice. Why does he net put 
ker'^mth to the test, by subjecting her- to a efiminal process'? 
Why does he not commenee a suit against the Booksellers who 
published her "Awful PisclosuresT*— Ah! if Lartigne, Bonin,' 
Bti^resne, and Richards, with ^eir brethren, Oenroy, Phelan, 
l^y and QuMter, wore eoerced to keeplient^ and tiva only 
i^on aoKip-maifrt, until that day arrives, they would not much 
longer portray in their exterior, that they live upon the fat of 
the land ; but they would vociferon^y whine out—" Mea euK 
^a ! O mea gnindis culpa ! O mea grandiMima^nlim 1 Peccain ! 
Peccavi! Peccavi!" 

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I HAVK several errors to correct, which wre to be 
found in roy first edition. ,1 did not notice them for 
aome time aflev iUs fitiblicatioD ; for afler it had otic« 
been published, I wished to relieve my mind from 
reflecting on the painful scenes to \yhich it relates, 
and felt little inclination to read it over. Besides, I 
soon began to be sought for by persons of different 
dMcriptions, who felt particular interest in my disr 
closures, and to some of whom I could not reatona- 
ably deny an interview. Accident also, and in some 
instances my Qwn curiosity, brought me into con- 
tact with other persons ; 8o that I had to make past 
scenes the frequent subject of review, and often- 
timed in a manner that kept my feelinga excited, 
and denied me much of that peace and tranquillity 
which were recommended to me by my best friends, 
and most desired by. myself Under such eir^unk- 
stances I did not look much into my book. 

There are some errors in the first editions 
whieh no one faa» mentioned to lae, but which I am 
about to correct. In describing the interior of the 
Black Nunnery, I s;x)ke of the points of the com- 
pass as I supposed them to be ; but, on reflecting 
since, I find that I never made any attentive obser- 
vation from which I can be sure which way was 

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north, soiith, east, or west, anti I might, pertops, 
have comtnitted some error. 

f found, in reading my book after its ptMlca^OA, 
that some things whieh I thought i iiad e:qpre8Bed 
plainly, we» rather obscure, and in ^veral pttssa- 
ges a reader might reeeire im^^teions quite the 
oj^)08ite of the truth. 

One of the most hnpoitant errors in the deflora- 
tion of the apartments of the Black Nunnery, i» ia 
the 8^ Chapter, under number 4, in the second 
story, where I have unaccountably made the long 
and narrow passage by which the physician some- 
tinies enters, terminate at the nuns' private sick- 
room, (Na 4,) instead of the little sitting-room, (No. 
5,) where it actually does. As I remarked above,* 
no one, so far as i know, has ever alluded to thra, 
or any of the other accidental mistakes I have found 
in that chapter: and I seize &is of^rtunity to cor- 
rect them, becausea regard to truth demands it of o^. 

It has appeared to me, that I could furnish a pkm 
of the veiled nuns' dqwrrtment in the Black Nun- 
nery, which would enaUe my readers the better to 
comprehend what I have wished to comonunicate 
by an explanation and description of the apartments, 
passages, staircases, d«. Although this may be 
hnperfectly done^ I have the satisiKetion to reflect, 
that I have now laid before &e people of America 
a delineation and descriptimi c^ my late dismal 
abode, more Ml and accurate, as wdi as more intd- 
ligible, than I gave them b^re. 

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146 j^wniaiM, 



Wishing to give as particuUz and clefMT a vic^w 
as poatiWe oi the rooM^ I have deecribe<], I have 
leceotly drawn out a plan of the diflfereot apart- 
w^tfi, which has been copied on a mvch red^c«d 
•cal^ under m^ directions, imd^in|ed^ accompany 
the present volume. I wish my readpra dirtinct^ 
to undeistaadt that in- giving thi$» 1 ^o. not pre- 
tend K) be aecitraie ia tho din)ej»8K>n«. I eaa recol- 
kct, in most cases, where and which way a door 
opens, what it leads to, the use^ x)i the apartments, 
cupboards, &«., ^he furnituce of ropms^ and oiteea 
the number and situation of windows; but I nev^ 
measured any of thcfm, nor heard their si2e, n^r 
atudied nor understood the plan of that part of the 
vast edifice of which it forms only a wing. 

I Enay, it is possible; have made some «rror in the 
f elative positions of some of. the apartments, se as, 
in some instances, to reader it difficult to reconcile 
my impressions with the form of the building. I 
am unceFtain, ^^r example, of the precise manner in 
which certain rooms are formed, whether they pr#- 
ject from the line of the wall, as I always ftm^ied 
they did, or. not. Some of the passages, also, may 
perhaps take a difl^rent line from what I suppose. 
Yet, with respect lo many oth^ things, I feel ^attse 
ccmfidence in my memory, as I could soon prove to 
aatfone, if adouHed into the Gonvai^ to test the truth 
<^ wj assertions, I will now proceed to mention 
the additional particujavs I have to state concaniiQg 

« See the fftan at Hie begiSiuRg <f( this volume. 

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the apartments, and shall refer to the imperfect drdf 
before my readers. They may turn to^ 63 also, 
where they will find what I have before said, as I 
shall not repeat it here. I would, however, re- 
mark, that several apartments, &c., which I did not 
thmk of before, are now added here, althotigh, to 
prevent confusion, the numbering is not changed. 

First Stori/. — No. 1. The nuns* Private OhapeJ, 
a tfmall room, has an altar railed in. The cross, 
commonly placed erect over the altar, is here rep- 
resented as lying on the floor. It was once laid in 
the position here represented, (with the head to- 
\^ards the door,) on an occasion which I shall 
refer to, when I publish another book, as my 
story is not yet all told. There is a cupboard 
with two doors, opening opposite the ahar, wh^re 
were placed ornaments, with silver candlesticks 
for the altar, &c. These I have sometimes been 
sent to attend to. In the passage is a similar cup- 
board. The door of the chapel opens inward and 
to the right. The plan shows, in a similar manner, 
how many of the other doors open. This room is 
at the end of the building towards Notre Dame street. 

No. 2. Community-room, with benches on three 
sides to sit, and another row for the feet. The 
windows on the upper side are very closely barred. 

In the adjoining passage, on the left, are the 
washstand and screen mentioned before, and next 
a barrel of witter with a cup, near the foot of the 
staircase leading to the nuns' sledping-toom. See 
crevious chapters. A stovepipe, in winter, passes 

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841 \ ^FWMIOJX. 

through {ronx the next room, uitQ this pfta8^p9».aQd 
through the ceiling into the nuns' sleej^g-ioom 
in the 2d story. See p. 1^. 

In the old nun®' dieeping-room are marked a closet, 
•ome of the shelves or berths on which their beds 
were placed, and the glass case in which the Name- 
less Nun sometimes ap{)eared. In the Superior's 
sleeping-room, I need not specif}' tUe position of-mny 
thing more particularly than I have done in Chi^^ 
ler iii., and on p. 194 

In the next room, is the door to a staircase, lead- 
ing to the cellar — ^a passage often taken by the 
priests. On page 133, I have mentioned that Fa- 
ther dniblier was. ^en in the Superior's room by 
soma of the nuns, on .our way to the sleeping-roqm^ 
m the evening there alluded to. It will be seen» 
afier observing the rektiye situatioaof the staircas^ 
to the sleeping-room and to the cellar, that the Su- 
perior's room was a convenient stopping place be- 
tween the two. As in various other instances, the 
plan of the interior of the building which is insert- 
ed in this volume, will here render some of my re- 
marks more clearly intelligible than they may have 
seemed without it. 

No. 3. The diningyroom, shows the customsyry 
position of the tables, though not their proportions. 
There was sometimes another tabic placed between 
the middle one and the wall ; not so, however, as to 
interfere with the chimney and cupboard on that 
side of the jroom. In one corner is another cup- 
board, and in another one the pantry. The iutchen' 

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Mf a dIsliTCt btiilAng, with only a celkr an4 one 
dtory. It is connected with the large building 
by nothing except a small window strongly grated, 
with an opening barely large enough to pass dishes 
through. I w^s sometimes thete while a novice, 
but never afterward. The cooks employed there 
are commonly poor girls and women who can get 
Work iit)where else, and are never permitted to en* 
ter the nunnery, or to converse with the nuns. 

(X the size' and precise number of the two or three 
succeeding rooTOS I am not very certain. I think 
I have drawn them pretty nearly right. No. 4, is 
a room- where sewing is done in the week. On Sat- 
urday our work was deposited in a spare room 
which is in the projection. In one of the corners, 
is the staircase up which St Francis was taken. 
In one corner of a largo room beyond is the Ex^ 
amination of Conscience' — see page 64. It was 
lighted, as I believe, only from a window on the 
other side of the partition. Near the corner next 
to No. 6, (which I may call the Sunday-room,) 
is a trap-door, with a stairczise, leading iirst to a 
smatl aj^rtment or cell under the floor of the room 
we have just left, and thence into the cellar. This 
Was the way by which I often went down to get coal. 

No, 6. The Sunday-room was furnished chiefly^ 
with chairs, placed round agaitist the walls. On 
one a^e, a door opais into the yard, and on the 
other, that which communicates Avith the covered 
passage to the Convent church. 

The adjoining apartments and cupboards, I am 

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awar«i, I have described rather toosaly herelofom 
I did not know the difficulty of placing them pro- 
perly until I came to draw them. I am convinced 
I was wrong in saymg that No. 8, the wax-room, 
projected irom the mam building. The plan in the 
frontispiece will show thejr relative situations a^ 
nearly as I can now give them. 

No. 9. The medicine-room must be at or near the 
end of the wing. 

Second Story. — No. 1. The nuns' sleeping*room, 
or dortoir. In the passage adjoining the sle^>ing- 
room, is a long closet, openings with two doors, 
which fold up when opened Th^ adjac^t closets 
I have mentioned on page 66. 

At the end of the passage is a staircase, leading 
down to a small room, or rather closet, where there 
is no light. There the stairs terminate, and there is 
no communication with any thing else. I used to 
think I heard voices there sometimes, when at work 
near the stairs. I asked Jane Ray what it was, and 
she replied that it was the Superior's hide-and-go- 
seek hole. 

No. 2. The adjoining staircase is that up which 
we carried St. Francis. No. 3 is the little sitting- 
room from which I set off to make my escape, (My 
course is marked on the cut) 

Nos. 4 and 5) see p. 67. The long passage ad- 
ioining is that described on page 198. The Doc- 
tor sometimes came through it That was the way, 
also, by which we carried St. Francis to the room 
in which she was smothered. It was during the 

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ftyePLVMBNT. 871' silenfe, wlieiin<»xe of us was allowed to 
spoak. The passage is dark. Sbe struggled once 
.80 that the nuns thought she intended to escape* I 
believe it was because she got a little hurt by hitting 
against a projection marked in the passage. 
. When I escaped, I passed through 4 and 5 into 
the. square passage. The Superior was in No. 10, 
and I, turning to the left, un&stened the door leading 
to the steps, and so passed out 
; By referring to page 69 sufficient will be found 
(Concerning Nos. 1.1, 12 and 13. Next to that is the 
" Holy Retreat," and the last apartment is the priests* 
sitting-room, where many scenes of intoxication and 
gjunbling have occurred. There is a door in the 
passage, opening to some place which I have never 
sec^. It was always locked, and had chairs stand- 
ing against it. Some windows I have omitted. 
\. The. Garret is not represented in the plan. The 
stairs to it lead from the comer of the passage be- 
tween Nos. 5 and 10. There is a great variety of 
old rubbish stowed away in the garret. We used to^ 
.play there sometimes. There is a small room par- * 
titioned off near the middle, but in other respects it is 
all open. I found an old gag there ; one which Jane 
Ray, with her characteristic readiness, declared had 
once been in her mouth. 

The Cellar is drawn after several hasty plans 
made by me, at different periods, compared with 
each other, and with verbal descriptions I have fur- 
nished. My former volume seems to say that there 
are leur, instead of three double, ranges of tells. 

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372 APFtKDtX 

That waB owing to an oyersright. Th6re are tKD 
{Staircases leading into the cellar, which are marked 
in the first story. In the cellar, near the former, is 
a greiat, gloomy, dismal iron door, studded with iron, 
and &stened with a great lock. I never saw it open, 
but often heard strange noises within. Under the 
steps were stored raisins, and many delicacies far 
the priests. 

In the second cell on the right was Imprisoned 
the nun whom I occasionally spoke with ; and in 
the adjoining one beyond was her companion. The 
last cell in the second range on the left hand, is dial 
in which I was once imprisoned. (See p. 167.) Be- 
tween the two last ranges of cells is only the ground- 
floor. Just beyond is the hole of private inter- 
ment. This must have been originally very near 
the extremity of the cellar; for a considerable addi- 
don was built to the Black Nuns' department a fow 
years since, when the chapel and adjoining commu- 
nity-room were added to the first story, while the 
• nuns^ sleeping-room was much enlarged, and die se- 
cret rooms beyond it were of course cdnstructed at 
that time. The extension of the cellar left the hole 
of interment miich in the ways 

I have never described the communication be- 
tween the great Nunnery Church and the Black 
Nuns' department Behind the altar is the passage 
into the sacrisde. From that room a passage leadl 
to the veiled nuns* departm^t. Strangers are some- 
times taken through a part of that passage, to a small 
room to which it opens on the left hand, when th^ 

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ira^ to seethe Superior, but they are never allowed 
to proceed any farther. This passage leads to the* 
Sunday-room on the 1st floor. It is imperfectly 
lighted, chiefly, I think, through the small room just 
mentioned. This passage extends some distance be- 
yond the door of the community-room with which 
it communicates. , 

It has been reported, that since I left the Convent, 
workmen have been employed in making consider- 
able changes within it. If all these things are 
to be changed for the purpose of contradicting me, 
I can assure the Superior and Priests they will have 
a great deal. to do. 

The walls are generally wainscoted, that is, lined 
ifjdth wood Iji the room where St. Francis was 
murdered, there are four iron staples driven into the 
emUngf with rings. In another, there are seven or 
«ight simUar ones. Most of the doors h^ve no sills. 
Those of the community-rooms, generally, have 
CSanadian latohf^. The window-sashes in several 
rooms swing in. , 

The floors are generally made of boards, or ** 
pknk, (six or eight inches wide, I think,) and fast- 
isned with nails. I remember^ at least, that as the 
Bi«h(^ waf ooe day eiit^ing a community-room, h« 
aftid^^'' There, ^bat is the tmrd time I have, hit my 
foot against that nail !" 

The front view, according to my recollection, is 
correct, so for as it ext|pds. The wall is of such 
a height, as to conceal a great part of the front > 
lirom a passenger in St Paul's street ; but my first 

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, Bight of the drawmg reminded me of many dreuixi* 
stances which I might refer to if I had time and spaca 
The general plan of the grounds and buildings 
is, in some respects, defective and erroneotis ] and I 
can easily explain to my readers why it is so. It 
was drawn by a gentleman in Montr^, who is 
well qualified for the task, but was not tibks to get 
access to some of the most important points. He 
made several ahempts, during my visit to that ^kf 
in August last, to obtain a correct drawing of tl^ 
whole, but was unable. He one day entered the 
gate, and got some distance into the yard, when he 
began to make his observations; but, being ob- 
served, was assailed by several old nuns, who pe- 
remptorily insisted on his leaving the place instant- 
ly. Some of th^n even laid hands upon him, to 
force him out ; but not b^ng disposed to be thus de- 
feated of his object, he lingered u^til the^ cdlkd 
the yard-man to their assistance, who, without cesre- 
mony, and wtth aomt violence, thrust him into the 

^ street. He sought every opportunky to ascertaifi 
the &cts necessaiy^to make his drawing cofrect,but 
was obliged, at last, to set down several things by 
conjecture. I &aw that he ]^ committed several 
errors at my first vietvj^f his pla^ &ad j^posed to 
have proper conations made ; but, on the wholes 
concluded to hav#it copied onareduced scale, without 
alteration, as I was not provided with measurements. 
1 will, therefore, brie% itfritte, that the left-lumd 
portion of the buildimg is chiefly devoted to the pub^ 
lie hospitals ; the middle, and right-hand, to the pub- 

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tic rooms and Novices' Department ; and the mid- 
dle wing to the Veiled or Black Nuns. Not only * 
is the Veiled Department sheltered from view on 
the front and on the right and left, but I haVe never 
seen it from any place outmde of the walls from" 
any direction ; and I have heard it remarked, that it 
would be very difficult to get a view of it from any 
point whatever. I often saw it frcHn the garden and 
yard while a novice, as we had access there, al- 
though it was contrary to our vows for any of us, 
•xc^t the old nuns, to leave the door after taking 
the veil. 

Th^ breadth of the Veiled Department, lamcon-^ 
fident, is too great, and the l^agth too small. The 
position of it is also wrong, as it really stands to the ^ 
right hand of the rear of the Convent Church. The 
only comEiexion that I kno^v of with the rest of the 
buildiflg, is a narrow and covered passage leading 
from the sacristie, (a room in the rear of the church,) 
some distance to the right, then turning at right an- 
gles and running close to the wall of the Veiled 
Department to the Sunday-room^ as shown in the * 
l^n oLthe interior, on the first story. The kitch^i 
is also omitted. 

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I HAVE now concluded all that I deem it neces- 
sary at present to say. The public, in this volume^ 
have in their hands, as it appears to me, every things 
necessary to enable them to form a decisive opinion 
concerning" the degree of confidence which my 
statements deserve. They have before them every 
thing lik^ testimony which has been produced 
against me, together with the means of satisfying 
themselves on various points on wide h curioflityhaa 
heretofore been excited. 

It is my intention, at some future time, to lay be- 
fore the public certain additional statements already 
, communicated to judicious individuals, and, indeed, 
committed to paper. 

For the present, I will only remind my readers 
of the sentiments expressed in the Preface of this 
volume, and assure them that I desire nothing so 
much as to see my sad and painfiri story producing 
the effects for which it has been brought before the 
world — ^viz. thOi delivery of xgy late fellow prison- 
ers in the Black Nunnery, and the safety of all 
others who may be exposed to, the ovils I have suf- 

Errata. Phf e« 273 and 307, for cariole, read carriage. 

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